Columbia Valley RCMP received a spike in vehicle-related theft calls on Monday, October 28.

RCMP said the incidents were reported in the Invermere and Windermere area. The reports included 14 thefts from a vehicle, two stolen vehicles, and a cargo trailer reported as stolen.

Five wallets, an orange Dodge Journey stolen from Pinetree Place in Invermere, and a Nissan Titan from Swansea Road in Windermere, were reported as stolen.

Both vehicles have since been recovered, the Nissan Titan was found in Radium Hot Springs, and the Dodge Journey made its way to Canmore before being found.

Police are thankful for residents turning in video footage showing a 2012-2015 four-door Honda Civic in the vicinity of the thefts.

Columbia Valley RCMP is working with its counterparts in Alberta to investigate a reported use of stolen credit cards in Calgary.

RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact local police or Crime Stoppers. Also, they are asking residents with security cameras to review footage from Sunday, October 27 to October 28 for suspicious activity.

Police remind the pubic of a few measures to prevent vehicle theft:

  • Lock your vehicle. Columbia Valley RCMP said a majority of vehicle thefts are crimes of opportunity. If the vehicle’s door is locked, potential thieves will likely move on.
  • Remove any valuables from a vehicle. Police said wallets, passports, and electronics should not be left unattended. RCMP added that even loose change could make a vehicle a target.
  • Police also advise against leaving a vehicle running. As the weather gets colder, drivers will likely leave their vehicles running without being inside. In addition to making it an easy target to would-be thieves, it’s also an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.
  • Do not leave garage door openers inside a vehicle. RCMP said documents with the owners home address are usually kept inside