John Bishop is passing out love notes, but no teacher is likely to rap his knuckles for doing so.
The head of District 69 Citizens On Patrol said his group has begun passing out crime prevention notices to vehicles found parked in the downtown areas of both Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
“We call them love notes,” he said.
“We are trying to alert people so they avoid misery.”
That misery, he continued, involves having their wallet, purse or other valuable items stolen from their vehicle — a situation often accompanied by a smashed car window and hefty repair bill.
“We’ve started doing foot patrols in all of Oceanside, going through the parking lots, the city park,” he said. “We just got approval to go around and inspect vehicles and check to see if they have current plates and stickers, if they have windows open or if they’ve left their keys or garage door openers in view.”
The COPS volunteers leave the crime prevention notices — or love notes — on the windshield of the vehicle and they make no copies, so the only person who gets their message is the vehicle owner.
“If the vehicle is picture perfect, we sometimes leave a smiley face on it,” he said.
Bishop said he got the idea while attending a recent crime prevention meeting in Nanaimo, where the service received rave reviews.
He said the response to the first days of the new program in Oceanside have been similarly enthusiastic.
“I did 147 cars in a week,” he said. “I got my hand shaken about six times by people who came out and said ‘wow, that’s a really great service.’”