Lock It OR Lose it Campaign

Source: IBC

Ontario’s Police Leaders want motorists to Lock it OR Lose it when it comes to their vehicles and valuables. The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) launched its annual Lock It OR Lose It campaign, which encourages drivers and passengers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season.

The campaign was kicked off at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

“Locking your vehicle and keeping valuables such as GPS and mobile devices, laptops, shopping bags, money and credit cards out-of-sight can go a long way in deterring criminal activities.” said Chief Kimberley Greenwood, the OACP’s First Vice-President and Chief of the Barrie Police Service.

This year’s Lock it OR Lose it campaign is being launched during the holiday season because it’s easy for people to be distracted and leave their vehicle unlocked or leave valuables in plain sight during the holiday hustle-and-bustle. Police will use Lock it OR Lose it notices throughout the year as part of their on-going crime prevention efforts.

“The insurance industry is proud to work with the OACP to support the Lock It OR Lose It campaign,” said Steve Kee, Director of Media and Digital Communications, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “Between 2015 and 2016, we saw an overall increase of 1% in auto theft across Ontario.  Let’s not make it easy for the thieves. Leaving your vehicle unlocked or valuables in sight is an open invitation to thieves. We must be vigilant in fighting this crime.”

During the Lock it OR Lose it campaign, police officers, auxiliary officers, and crime prevention personnel examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. A small notice is placed on vehicles advising what safety precautions were neglected and offer simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft. The notices also congratulate drivers who have secured their vehicle.

Motorists are urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge.

The OACP thanks the Accident Support Services International, Arrive Alive/Drive Sober, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Smart Serve Ontario, and Trace™ for supporting LockItORLoseIt crime prevention initiatives across Ontario.

Developer sentenced to 3 years in $12M soccer stadium scam

A developer convicted of defrauding taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a failed effort to build a professional soccer stadium in Connecticut has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

James Duckett Jr. was sentenced Wednesday, December 6, 2017 on 12 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. He was found guilty in July.

Duckett and another developer had been hired by Hartford to oversee development of a $12 million, 9,000-seat stadium.

But prosecutors allege Duckett and his partner never paid subcontractors and directed more than $1 million from the city to support a lavish lifestyle for Duckett and expenses unrelated to the stadium project.

The Major Arena Soccer League dropped the team before a game was ever played.

Duckett’s lawyer says the payments to him were compensation for his work.

 

IBC releases 2017 Top 10 stolen vehicles list

Source: IBC

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) published on December 5, 2017 its annual Top 10 Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles list. High-end luxury SUVs are the most commonly stolen vehicles in Ontario.

This year’s 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in IBC’s Ontario region are:

  1. 2016 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  2. 2015 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  3. 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD and GMC Yukon 4WD SUVs
  4. 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 2WD Pick-Up
  5. 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD and GMC Yukon 4WD SUVs
  6. 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 4WD and GMC Sierra 2500 4WD SUVs
  7. 2003 Hummer H2 4-door 4WD SUV
  8. 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe 4-door 4WD and GMC Yukon 4-door 4WD SUVs
  9. 2014 Toyota 4-Runner 4-door 4WD SUV
  10. 2005 Buick Rainier 4-door 2WD, Chevrolet Trailblazer 4-door 2WD and GMC Envoy SUVs

Quoting Statistics Canada as the IBC source, Donaldson noted that Guelph, Ontario reported the largest auto theft activity increase in Canada at 49%. Windsor reported a 14% increase and St. Catharines experienced a 5% increase. Of Ontario’s two largest cities, Toronto reported a 4% increase while Ottawa experienced a 1% decline. Theft was also down 17% in Sudbury, 12% in Barrie and London, 9% in Kingston, and 1% in Peterborough and Hamilton. In Ontario, the rate of recovery for stolen vehicles increased to 60%, up 2 per cent from last year.

Regina police clock driver going 183 km/h in city construction zone

Police in Regina are looking for the lead-footed driver who they say blasted through a construction zone at 183 km/h.

They say officers had a speed trap set up on one side of the city’s Ring Road highway and noticed a maroon-colour Nissan sports car _ either a 350z or a 370z _ roaring along in the other direction.

They managed to clock the speed at more than three times the limit for a construction zone, but couldn’t give chase because the car was travelling the other way.

Police say there were workers on the site at the time.

Speeding in construction zones has been a focus for Saskatchewan authorities since the high-profile 2012 death of 18-year-old Ashley Dawn Richards.

She was working as a flag person near the community of Midale when she was struck and killed by a speeding SUV.

 

Chinese insurance tycoon detained

The founder of the Chinese insurance company that bought New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel during a global acquisition spree has been detained by regulators, a business news magazine said Tuesday, June 13, 2017 following reports of possible financial misconduct.

Anbang Insurance Group Ltd. Chairman Wu Xiaohui was “taken away by authorities” on Friday, June 9, 2017 said Caijing, citing unidentified sources. It said officials of the insurance regulator announced the action the following day at a company meeting but gave no details.

Spokespeople for Anbang did not respond to phone calls or emails Tuesday evening.

Anbang, founded by Wu in 2004, expanded rapidly to become one of the biggest companies in a staid Chinese insurance industry dominated by state-owned companies.

The industry has faced heightened scrutiny since late last year following complaints of reckless speculation by insurers in stocks and real estate. The chairman of the Chinese insurance regulator is under investigation by the national anti-corruption agency.

Anbang made a multibillion-dollar series of acquisitions in the United States, Europe and other foreign markets, including buying the Waldorf in 2016 for $2 billion. That prompted questions about how the company was paying for its purchases.

The company discussed possibly investing in a Manhattan skyscraper owned by the family of Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser. Those talks ended in March without a deal.

Anbang, which is privately held, said the money for its global acquisitions was raised from shareholders.

The company denied accusations in April by another business news magazine, Caixin, that it improperly used payments by policyholders to increase its capital.

The company also denied rumours that spread on Chinese social media in April that Wu had been detained.

In May, Anbang was ordered to stop selling two financial products that regulators said violated industry rules.

Wu rarely talks to reporters or appears in public, but Caijing said he attended a series of public events in recent weeks. That included a May 12 meeting called by the insurance regulator to study a speech by President Xi Jinping about financial regulation.

Anbang said it raised 50 billion yuan ($8 billion) from investors in 2014 to pay for its buying spree. That increased its registered capital fivefold to 62 billion yuan ($9.5 billion), the biggest among Chinese insurers.

Caixin’s April report said at least 30 billion yuan ($4.3 billion) of that money really was payments from policyholders. The magazine said it was channeled back into the company through a complex ownership structure.

Anbang has more than 30,000 employees serving 35 million clients and has interests in life insurance, banking, asset management, leasing and brokerage services.

 

Mom so far out of luck after Montreal cops shoot car, refuse to pay for repairs

A woman whose parked car was damaged in the crossfire of a police shootout in Montreal is hoping the city will reconsider its refusal to cover the cost of repairs.

In an interview Thursday, February 9, 2017 Shannon Ojero, of Brantford, Ont., said the city has so far refused to pay because she filed her claim too late, and then an official told her police were not responsible for disabling the vehicle because they were only defending themselves.

“This is actually ridiculous,” Ojero said. “Somebody, whether the police department or the city or whoever, I think they should be responsible for it.”

The situation arose when Ojero lent the 2007 black Lexus – she calls it her baby – to her daughter, Angela Bradt, 17, so she and four girlfriends could spend five days in Montreal over New Year’s Eve. Ojero said she reluctantly let her daughter go, thinking the city was safe, or at least safer than Toronto.

In Montreal for the first time, Bradt and friends went out clubbing, returning to their downtown hotel in the early hours of Dec. 31. Bradt, who is in her last year of high school, said she grabbed some belongings from the parked car, and was in her room for about 10 minutes when gunfire erupted outside. The teens watched as police swarmed the area and shut down the street.

“I said to myself, ‘I should probably move my car if something like that’s going down before it gets shot but I didn’t do anything,” Bradt said in an interview.

However, when she went to move her car the next morning, police stopped her.

“He said, ‘Is that your car, miss?’ and I said, ‘Oh yeah, sure, tell me that it’s shot, hasn’t it been?’ and he goes, ‘Uh, yeah, maybe twice,’ and I went, ‘Great’.”

The car, hit by two bullets in the front, was spewing coolant and was deemed undriveable. Police later towed it away as part of their investigation.

Bradt, who said her friends were pretty freaked out by what had happened, initially had trouble even getting outside because of the police activity on the street. One helpful officer drove her to a car-rental company, but they refused to rent her a vehicle because she was too young.

“I got really frustrated, and I just was bawling and I called my mom and she said, ‘Ok, well let’s get you home’.”

Bradt cut short her vacation and took a bus home after police told her they weren’t releasing the car, which had to be towed back to Brantford, possibly causing more damage.

Ojero, 35, said the gunshots caused more than $2,700 in damage to the radiator, bumper and other parts, but insurance coverage left her on the hook for the $1,000 deductible.

“I’m a mom with two teenaged kids, I’m going to college myself, I’m just trying to get on my own feet, and this $1,000 has really put me in a deep hole,” she said. “This is a car I worked very hard for, I paid it off, it’s my baby.”

Ojero said she had difficulty meeting the 15-day deadline for making a claim because of problems finding someone to speak to her in English, and the city sent her a brief letter saying, “No liability rests with the city.”

When I called back, the gentleman said, ‘Police were not in the wrong, so we’re denying your claim’,” she said. “And I said, ‘Well I wasn’t in the wrong either, so somebody has to like pipe up here.”

Someone else with the city has now told her to fill out a two-page complaint form and she’s hoping that will lead to her reimbursement.

 

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