“In East division, which would include Glace Bay, New Waterford and Donkin areas, there does seem to be a higher level of break-ins of vehicles,” said Staff Sgt. Jodie Wilson of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service (CPRPS).
“That seems to happen around this time every year, due to the warmer weather,” she explained.
Wilson said there didn’t seem to be an increase of reports from other areas but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Marley Ross, a mother of two and a business owner, learned that the hard way on Sunday. Usually she keeps her car locked outside their Ashby home but forgot to Saturday night.
The hairdresser had a busy day with her eight-year-old daughter, Maddox, getting ready for the Cape Breton Farmer’s Exhibition. When she parked her car, she saw her brother chatting with her husband and went to talk to them instead of going in the house, leaving her purse in the car.
An hour later, she went inside to put the kids to bed forgetting she left her purse in her car and the doors unlocked.
In her purse was about $300 for their week at the exhibition, a ruby ring that was a birthday gift from her husband and all her identification. All of it was stolen.
“This is our very first exhibition as horse owners and my daughter was very excited to start her week. So it did put a damper on it. That was a little frustrating,” she said.
“Maddox is still going to be there and we’re still going to make it happen but it definitely did put a damper on the week.”
To cover the loss of money that was saved to cover her daughter’s horse riding classes, family passes, parking and trailer for their horse, Ross took extra clients on vacation days she took to spend with her family at the exhibition.
“We were able to, fortunately, have a stall that we didn’t have to pay for. That was a huge help. Because if that was added on, I am not sure we could have participated this week,” Ross explained.
Losing her identification and knowing the robbers could commit identity fraud with it scares Ross. She has to personally contact the credit bureaus and watch for suspicious activity.
Const. Chuck Romard is a community liaison officer with the CBRPS and he encourages people to report all vehicle break-ins, even if the robbers only take a couple of dollars in change.
“Even if we can’t make an arrest, it’s like little pieces of the puzzle. If we get a lot of little pieces we can put them together for a bigger picture,” he explained.
Locking your doors, keeping your car free from clutter and taking all valuables out are good precautions you can take to help prevent car break-ins.
Romard also suggests not leaving keys in vehicles, parking in well lit areas and installing car alarms when possible.
Any suspicious activity, either around a car or close to vehicles, should be reported to police immediately. Romard said sometimes thieves will work in teams, with a look out on a phone and others trying cars for a “quick grab.”
“If you do see something, please call police instead of dealing with it yourself,” he explained.
“That could lead to a dangerous situation.”