Lock Your Doors: Canby Police Report Holiday Spike in Car Prowls, Vehicle Break-Ins

The city of Canby has seen a rise in nighttime vehicle break-ins this month, and local police are warning residents to be vigilant.

A Dec. 5 post on the Canby Police Department’s Facebook page by Officer Kathryn Mitchell informed readers about the spike in criminal activity and urged them to “remember to lock up and do not leave valuables inside vehicles!”

The break-ins and attempted break-ins, which have been reported throughout the city and do not seem to be concentrated in any particular area, have been a subject of much discussion in the community and on Facebook groups like Canby Now, with some suggesting that perhaps armed or unarmed neighborhood watch groups are the answer.

Canby Police Chief Bret Smith told the Canby Now Podcast that there has been a rise in break-ins, and it is certainly something residents should be aware of and take appropriate precautions against. However, he said that such a spike is not unusual during the winter holiday season, when nights are longer, finances get pinched and drug use may be more prevalent.

For residents concerned about safety, Chief Smith pointed out that the city has seen no rise in violent crimes or other threatening activities.

“These are crimes of opportunity,” Chief Smith said. “Largely, we’re seeing folks just being careless, leaving their cars unlocked or stuff in plain sight. And this is a time of the year when you do see a rise in this type of illegal activity.”

He says he has heard similar things in other jurisdictions. The holiday season is a target of opportunistic thieves, Chief Smith said, because the stress and busyness can lead folks to become more careless. Gifts may be left in cars, either by accident or as a hiding place instead of the home.

Canby itself may be a target because its longtime reputation as one of the safest cities in the state may have lulled some residents into a false sense of security.

Increased car prowls, petty theft and property crime can also be linked to drug use and a rise in the transient population — which the chief said has been observed in other cities but has not been noticed in Canby.

Canby police are investigating the break-ins that have occurred, while also stepping up nighttime enforcement patrols to help deter future incidents or apprehend those responsible.

Photo above is a stock photo that depicts a real car break-in, but not one that occurred in Canby.

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