Do you recall a time when locking your vehicle was theft-proof? Not anymore.

That’s the message the police were selling to the public yesterday at a press conference held to sound an alarm to the public on the recent upsurge in auto vehicle thefts.

“It’s no longer about locking your vehicle because these guys, as we have seen, can break in very quickly,” Supt. David Veitch of Southeast Division explained to Metro yesterday.

Police have seen 634 thefts from vehicles between June 1 and 21 alone. This year there have been 4,735 thefts from vehicles compared to 4,578 in 2008.

While there’s a spike in vehicle thefts, the thefts from autos has declined markedly since 2005 and there’s a decrease in vehicle theft by about 14 per cent to date, compared to last year, said a release from the Edmonton Police Service.

“The reason why there’s an increase is that there are a lot of bad dudes out there who are stealing from vehicles,” said Veitch.

Veitch said vehicle thieves have become sophisticated so the public has to catch on by removing all valuables from their vehicles.

Car-owners are urged to pick up anti-theft screws at a nearby divisional station to prevent licence plate thefts, which police say accounted for about 30 per cent of thefts from cars.

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