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  Winter and Holiday Trends

Nov 25, 2011 14:28 ET

During the holiday and winter season, there are certain crime trends that develop that DRPS would like to make the public aware of.

Durham Region experiences an increase in snowblower thefts during the winter months. Many people leave their snowblowers covered up beside or behind their residences due to the size of the machine. These practices enable thieves to easily steal them. Thieves will cut chains or locks and make off with the machine.

Also, thefts from vehicles become regular occurrences during the holiday season. In years past, suspects have identified shoppers who have purchased electronics in big box stores and watched them get into their vehicles. The suspect will then follow the soon-to-be victim to another shopping location. When the shopper leaves the vehicle to enter another store; the suspect will break into the vehicle and steal the recently purchased merchandise.

During the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, people tend to become preoccupied with all the errands they have to run. Shoppers often forget to lock their vehicles or will leave purchases in plain sight making their vehicles easy targets for thieves.

Recently, an incident was reported to DRPS involving a male suspect selling possible counterfeit merchandise, including suits and leather jackets, out of his vehicle. The suspect approached a male in a Costco parking lot and sold him what he thought was an Armani suit and numerous leather jackets. Cash was exchanged for the merchandise and the suspect fled. The merchandise was not brand name as the victim was led to believe and the suspect made off with a large sum of cash.

DRPS would like to recommend a few ways to ensure members of the public don’t become victims during this winter/holiday season.

• Ensure vehicles are locked and valuables, including holiday purchases, are kept out of sight. Either lock the items in the trunk, or cover them up with a blanket or other item.

• Beware of your surroundings when shopping. Look for any suspicious person(s) and/or vehicles. Shoppers may want to drop expensive purchases off at home before they continue shopping or leave purchasing those items until the end of their shopping so that the items are not left in vehicles

• Lock snowblowers up in a garage or a secure shed with more than a pad lock. Keep the snowblowers out of sight.

• Do not purchase merchandise out of a vehicle, it is most likely counterfeit.

Suspicious activity, people or vehicles should be reported to police. If you see any suspicious activity described above please call DRPS communications desk at 1-905-579-1520 ext. 6234 to report it.

Anonymous tips may be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

Below are attached files.
theft thumb (JPG file, 59.9K bytes)