The White Rock RCMP are reminding residents to stay safe while shopping this holiday season by providing a series of safety tips.
In a news release issued Thursday, the White Rock detachment provided a handful of tips, including: don’t withdraw more money than you require; don’t fall for deals which are too good to be true; don’t leave valuables – like packages, wrapped presents or purses – in your vehicle unattended; and if you are expecting a package to be delivered to your door, have a neighbour collect it for you if you will be away for any length of time.
“Don’t let a Grinch interfere with your holiday season this year,” the release states.
As well, police are reminding residents that, if you see a vehicle or person that looks suspicious and out of place, contact the non-emergency line at 778-593-3600. For any crimes in progress, call 9-1-1.
The safety advice doesn’t come as a result of a noticeable spike in thefts or similar crimes in the area, White Rock RCMP Cst. Chantal Sears told Peace Arch News. Recent crime stats show no boost between December numbers and the previous four months, Sears said, nor are the December 2020 numbers much different from last December.
Instead, the bulletin about safety is simply “reminders and tips” for this time of year, Sears said.
On Friday, Surrey RCMP also released details about its Operation Mistletoe, which “aims to kiss holiday crime goodbye.”
Operation Mistletoe, a news release notes, “is a strategic deployment of officers from the Surrey RCMP Mobile Street Enforcement Team to shopping centres in Surrey.”
“This operation aims to prevent personal robberies, thefts, and thefts from vehicles through increased foot patrols, coupled with covert and overt enforcement,” the release continues.
Like their neighbours in White Rock, the Surrey RCMP is also encouraging members of the public to report all property crime and suspicious behaviour by calling 604-599-0502. Non-emergencies can also be reported online, using the Surrey RCMP’s online crime reporting website (https://ocre-sielc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/surrey/en)
Also this week, the Lower Mainland branch of the Better Business Bureau issued a news release with similar tips, to ward against “porch pirates (who) are trying to steal Christmas.”
The BBB advises that consumers take advantage of online tracking services for items purchased online, and make sure someone will be home during the delivery window. If a company says a package has been delivered but it’s nowhere to be found, report it immediately.
As well, the release suggests that if you are not working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, get items shipped to your office or place of business instead, assuming it’s OK with your employer.