With the holiday season almost upon us, Ontario’s Police Chiefs are encouraging motorists and passengers to LOCK IT DOWN! when it comes to their vehicles and to not leave valuables in plain view. The Province’s top cops today launched the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s (OACP) annual Lock It OR Lose It campaign in Toronto. The campaign is a crime prevention program that encourages drivers and passengers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and vehicle contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season, but also throughout the year.
“Thieves know that an unlocked vehicle is an open invitation to crime. So is leaving your valuables in plain sight,” said OACP President Chief Jeff McGuire (Niagara Regional Police Service). “This is a busy time of the year. It’s easy to be distracted and leave your vehicle unlocked or valuables in your car. Take extra time to lock it down.”
“Keeping our customers safe is our top priority here at GO Transit, which is why we are proud supporters of this campaign,” said Greg Percy, President of GO Transit. “Our Transit Safety Officers will be working alongside police officers to ensure our customers are taking the steps they need to take to protect their vehicles and their belongings.”
During the Lock It OR Lose It campaign, police officers and Special Constables examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. Officers place a small notice on vehicles checked indicating 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.
“IBC is a proud partner of the Lock It OR Lose It campaign. In the lead up to the holiday season, there are more cars on the roads, in the parking lots, and everyone is more distracted than normal. This season is prime business time for thieves. So, as you go to park your car, do one simple thing: lock it down. Together, we can help Ontarians have a fun and safe holiday season.” said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Motorists and passengers 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.
- Auto thefts have been on the decline over the past decade – this is great news. However, in the past 12 months, there has been an uptick. Stolen vehicles are up 1% to 73,924 across Canada.
- There has been an increase in identity theft in recent years. Cases of identity theft and fraud have increased across Canada from 10,807 in 2010 to 11,594 in 2013 – a 6% increase.