Save Guard Your Valuables

ON Thursday, November 27th, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) launched its annual crime prevention program “Lock It OR Lose It” to encourage drivers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and vehicle contents from theft, as the Holiday Season approaches.

Did you know that theft from vehicles increase dramatically during this popular shopping time of the year? As you shop for items in stores, would-be-thieves shop for items in your vehicle.

The Ottawa Police Service’s equivalent crime prevention program “All Valuables Removed” Campaign tips can help you ensure your gifts are not the target of would-be-thieves.

You can place an “All Valuables Removed” warning card, which can be obtained from your community police center, in your window to help deter thieves. These cards – designed to be displayed by vehicle owners on the inside of the driver’s side window – are letting would-be-thieves know not to bother searching your vehicle and alerting others to take the same precautions.

Tips & Hints

• Remove valuables and shopping bags from view. This includes loose change and electronic devices such as IPods, cell phones and GPS navigation systems.
• Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
• Close windows and lock the doors.
• Never leave your car or house keys in your vehicle.
• Park in well lit areas with pedestrian traffic.
• When returning to your vehicle carrying bags, place them in trunk, and then drive away to a different parking spot if shopping is not completed. Thieves notice unattended vehicles that have new purchases for them to take.

Pop quiz:

The Question:
Thefts from vehicles are a citywide crime trend. From the scenarios below, which vehicle is at risk?
a) An unlocked vehicle with a GPS on the dash.
b) A locked vehicle with a wallet sitting on the passenger seat.
c) A locked vehicle parked on a poorly lit street with minimal pedestrian traffic.
d) They are all at risk.

The Answer:
• The right answer is D. Thefts from vehicles are a crime of opportunity and can happen anywhere, and at any time. It is therefore important to take as many preventative measures as possible to try and safeguard yourself from becoming a victim.

“All Valuables Removed” Warning cards are available at Community Police Centres, Ottawa Police stations’ Information Desks, and by request at [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>.

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