With the holiday season in full retailing swing, police are reminding drivers to lock their vehicles before they head into malls for their holiday shopping.
At the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) annual “Lock it or lose it” campaign launch on December 14 at Ryerson University, officers examined parked vehicles to ensure they were locked and that no valuables were left in plain view.
Officers placed a notice on vehicles they checked, indicating the safety precautions that were neglected and offered simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft.
Inspector Dave Rydzik, Divisional Policing Support Unit commander, reminded motorists to take a few simple precautions to protect their vehicles and contents.
Ways to prevent theft:
- Ensure your doors are locked
- Always park in well-lit areas
- Never leave money in plain sight
- Always roll up your car windows
- Put shopping bags and other parcels in the trunk
- Ensure GPS is out of sight
- Keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you
- Take electronics, including your cell phone, with you
- Don’t leave your car running unattended
- If parking in the same parking lot often, park in different spots
“Make sure your vehicles are secured and valuables are not left in plain view,” he said. “An unlocked door, open window, and a vehicle left running are also invitations to criminals.”
In 2015, a total of 8,000 vehicles were broken into and almost 3,500 stolen.
Rydzik said there has been a 10 per cent increase in both categories this year.
“In order to trend in the right direction, we still have work to do,” he added.
Toronto Police Service officers will be out at shopping malls across the city this month, checking for unlocked vehicles and visible items on seats as part of the OACP and the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s annual province-wide campaign.