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West Shore RCMP get ready for summer

A focus on theft from vehicles and patrolling region's parks and beaches priorities for police.

Lock your car doors

As the good weather approaches the West Shore RCMP is reminding residents to lock up their vehicles and remove all valuables when out and about this summer.

The detachment's Lock It or Lose It campaign is ongoing to spread awareness of how everyone can help lower the rates of theft from vehicles.

Theft from vehicles is up so far this year over 2012

"We want to encourage people to take steps to reduce their chances of being a victims," said Corp. Kathy Rochlitz.

The top 10 items stolen from vehicles in 2012 were smart phones, personal electronics (tablets, laptops, iPods), work tools, credit cards, stereo equipment, cash, car parts, garage door openers, sunglasses and keys.

"The CRD in general has been a target of this kind of opportunity," Rochlitz said. "We all have to work together to resolve this."

Police encourage residents to report thefts from vehicles because it helps the RCMP to track crime in the community and develop strategies. At times stolen property is recovered while investigating other crimes, so it is in the owner's best interests to report stolen items.

Signs will be placed at high-risk parking lots reminding drivers to lock up.


Park patrol

This summer the RCMP will once again be working with the Capital Regional District to patrol West Shore parks

CRD parks employees and bylaw enforcement officers will be working with police to make sure local parks remain safe for all users.

The focus of the patrols will be open alcohol, which warranted the majority of the tickets issued last year. Patrols will be on foot and bicycles, and will include trails, beaches and parking lots. There will also be boat patrols on the water.

The focus will be on Matheson Lake, Mt. Work Regional Park, Durrance Lake, Sooke Potholes, Thetis Lake and Woody's Lagoon.

An estimated 5.7 million people visit local parks and trails per year.

"The majority of people are respectful of others and the natural areas," Rochlitz said. "This partnership has proven very successful in creating a safe and pleasurable visit for users of the parks."