Fredericton police see spike in thefts from vehicles

The Fredericton Police Force is once again reminding people to lock their cars and to not leave valuables inside.

Sgt. Michael MacLean says the police force has seen a spike in thefts from vehicles in recent months.

MacLean says 213 instances have been reported since January, and in most cases, the targeted vehicles were unlocked.

"This is a crime of opportunity," MacLean told our newsroom. "Most thieves don't want to smash a window and draw attention to themselves. They'll go around and search for vehicles that are unlocked and [have] valuables inside."

To make matters worse, MacLean said, credit and debit cards were stolen in 11 of those cases.

The stolen cards are then being fraudulently used through the "tap to pay" option before being reported and flagged as stolen.

"Essentially a victim is being victimized twice from that single theft," said MacLean.

MacLean said the thefts are widespread throughout the city and there's no particular area that's being targeted.

"If folks simply locked their cars and don't store any valuables inside their car, we would see a reduction in this crime of opportunity."

Victims can report thefts from vehicles, as well as several other crimes, on the Fredericton Police Force's website, or by calling (506) 460-2300.