“Operation Mistletoe” aims to kiss holiday crime goodbye

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Photo: Ray Hudson

To help keep the season merry and bright, Surrey RCMP is unwrapping “Operation Mistletoe”, which aims to kiss holiday crime goodbye through targeted enforcement and prevention.

For many people, the end of November marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. During this busy time, shopping centres and parking lots can be the target of thieves looking to take advantage of unsecured or easily accessible property.

“Operation Mistletoe” will include strategic deployment of officers from various Surrey RCMP units such as the Surrey RCMP Community Response Unit, Mobile Street Enforcement Team, and Traffic Enforcement Team, along with Surrey RCMP Volunteers, to shopping centres in Surrey. Through a combined effort, “Operation Mistletoe” aims to prevent personal robberies, thefts, thefts from vehicles, and impaired driving.  Some of these strategic measures include increased foot patrols, coupled with covert and overt enforcement.

Surrey RCMP is also reminding everyone to include crime prevention and safety planning to their list of festive activities!

The public can gift themselves peace of mind by reviewing and following Surrey RCMP’s holiday tips:

    • Mall and shop parking lots are often targeted by property crime thieves. Remove all valuables from your vehicle, including garage door openers.
    • Don’t stow purchases in your vehicle while you continue to shop.
    • Ensure you lock your vehicle and use an anti-theft device.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, minimize distractions and put your phone away.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you.

Thieves target mail looking for cash, gift cards, and parcels – especially during the holiday season.

  • Don’t leave mail in your mailbox. Collect your mail promptly after delivery. Unattended mail is a treasure trove of personal information for potential thieves.
  • Avoid sending cash or gift cards in the mail.
  • Plan ahead. If you’ll be away, let Canada Post hold your mail until you return or have a neighbour collect your mail.
  • When shopping online, avoid having packages delivered to your front door if you aren’t home during the day. Instead, have them shipped to your work or to a friend who is home to accept the delivery.
  • Don’t just recycle. Shred documents that contain personal financial information, such as statements and credit card offers.

If you’re heading out of town for the holidays make arrangements to safeguard your ho-ho-home.

  • Ask a neighbour to collect your mail, flyers and newspapers.
  • Install timers in different areas of your house to turn lights on and off at different times.
  • Keep a record of your valuables, including serial numbers.
  • Wait to post your vacation pictures on social media until you return home.
  • Ensure your garage is closed and shed is locked.

Surrey RCMP is encouraging members of our community to report property crime and suspicious by calling 604 599 0502, or using our on-line reporting tool.  Together, we can kiss holiday crime good bye.

For more information on protecting your property please visit the Protect Yourself section of our website.