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The mayor of St. George said the town pays $344,000 per year for RCMP policing, and costs are rising (CBC)

RCMP in Moncton say holiday shoppers still haven't gotten the message to keep valuable items inside a vehicle hidden from view in parked vehicles.

Codiac RCMP recently did a sweep of parking lots to see if people were locking their vehicles and concealing items inside and they were surprised by what they found.

"Over 500 cars were checked and we found 70 cars who had either unlocked doors or valuables in plain sight, or in some cases both," said Cst. Damien Theriault.

Theriault says while officers were surprised by the results, they were even more surprised by what they saw.

"I think they were more shocked by the items that were left in plain sight, such as wallets and purses right on the seats, next to the driver's seat, so that was the most shocking part for them."

Theriault said it just takes seconds to lock vehicles and make sure valuables are out of sight. It's a message the RCMP has been delivering for years.

"It's still a problem," said Theriault. "That's more than 10 per cent of vehicles that were not basically conforming to basic security measures.

"It's something that's totally preventable and we're just asking people to be mindful of that and lock your doors."