Salmon Arm residents are apparently a trusting lot – a little too trusting.
“Nobody locks their cars in Salmon Arm,” remarked Staff Sgt. Scott West at a meeting of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Nov. 19, noting the number one crime in the community is theft from vehicle.
He implored residents to start locking their cars and homes.
People in Salmon Arm leave all kinds of valuables in their unlocked vehicles, West said, ranging from cash to cell phones to credit cards.
He notes that if he was a criminal, he could easily get new identification made from the items stolen, then a bank loan and who knows what else. Criminals can make money selling ID, he adds.
West also points out that while women don’t generally leave purses in vehicles, men often leave their wallet in the console.
Sometimes people even leave a spare key in their vehicle.
The same holds true of people and their homes.
“It can’t be a break-in if you don’t lock it,” he commented.
West said half a dozen women with concerns about a suspected drug house on their street came to him recently, feeling unsafe.
“They said, ‘Now we lock our doors,’” West remarked, pointing out they should have been locking them all along.
What was perhaps okay 20 or 30 years ago is no longer the case, he emphasized.
One chamber member said a culture shift needs to happen. She said people have a sense of entitlement; because they’ve always lived in Salmon Arm without locking their doors, they believe they still should.
West pointed to a rash of thefts in Sicamous when he worked there. A resident reported that someone had stolen their quad, yet they’d parked it in front of their house with the key in it.
West also reiterated a theme he emphasized several times throughout his talk.
If you notice a problem or suspicious activity, let police know.
“If you don’t make the phone call, then I don’t know the problem exists.”