Sgt. Jereme Leslie and the Saanich Police warn residents to be cautious about storing gifts in plain sight during the holiday shopping season. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Sgt. Jereme Leslie and the Saanich Police warn residents to be cautious about storing gifts in plain sight during the holiday shopping season. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Stay free of theft and scams this holiday season

Saanich Police offer suggestions for a happy holiday

It happens every year.

Holiday shoppers hop from one store to the next, only to return to their car and find the gifts they left visible are gone. Often, the doors were left unlocked.

While shopping is a big part of Christmas, so are charity drives. Beware, there are plenty on the naughty list looking to take advantage of warm hearts by running false holiday fundraising campaigns.

Here are a few safety tips from the Saanich Police, protectors of safe and happy holiday. Some of them are obvious, but bear repeating, as unlocked doors result in thousands of lost goods each year.

  • At home: Display the tree and not the gifts. Wait until Christmas Eve to put out eye-catching gifts.
  • When shopping: Park in a well-lit area, ensure doors are locked, shopping bags and purchases are out of sight.
  • Be aware of scams! The Canadian Anti‐Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects data and intelligence on Mass Marketing Fraud (telemarketing), advanced‐fee fraud letters (Nigerian letters), internet fraud and identity theft complaints.
  • Is that a real charity you’re donating to? If you’re approached by someone suspicious don’t feel pressure to donate right away and call Police. You can also contact the Canada Revenue Agency to see if the charity is registered
  • If making a purchase online or through classified ads, arrange to meet at a neutral, public location and do not go alone. You don’t know who is on the other side of the transaction.
  • Online shopping delivery: Prevent parcel theft by requesting a signature for packages so they’re not left unattended at your door. Schedule delivery to your place of work or other destination if you’re not going to be home.
  • Keep ladders (often left out during Christmas light season) away from the home so criminals aren’t tempted to climb through a window.
  • Going away? Use timers for lights, lock all doors and windows.
Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

Landis Carmichael is the Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as the Emergency Services Award winner. (Photo courtesy Landis Carmichael)
29-year-old firefighter has spent almost half his life with Langford department

Landis Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Emergency Services Award

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

Karen DeCicco and Darren Russell have been named principals of the Sooke School District’s two newest schools, both under construction in Langford. DeCicco will lead Pexsisen Elementary while Russell will be at Centre Mountain Lellum Middle School, both starting in spring of 2022. (Courtesy Sooke School District)
Principals named for new Langford schools set to open in 2022

Sooke School District tabs veteran educators with strong track records on the West Shore

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo school district chosen as Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Ella Donovan with mom Tina outside Fuller Lake Arena before heading onto the ice for practice. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Young Ladysmith skater watches and waits in battle against cancer

Ella Donovan’s tumour began a tumultuous time, but community support eased the burden

Most Read