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Motorists warned to lock up valuables this holiday season

By The IJ Staff | December 09 2019 01:45PM

Ontario motorists are being warned to lock up their cars and valuables – or potentially lose them – this holiday season.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has teamed up with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) for the 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.

Keep electronics and gifts out of sight

“The holiday season should be about spending time with our families and friends. Our message is simple: don't let would-be thieves play the role of Bad Santa by stealing your vehicle or valuables left unsecured. Keep things such as GPS and mobile devices, laptops, shopping bags, money, and credit cards out of sight as a way in deter criminal activities,” said OACP president Chief Paul Pedersen.

Remain vigilant during the holidays

Bryan Gast, IBC national director, Investigative Services, says about 235 cars are stolen every day in Canada by auto thieves, many of whom have found new and lucrative ways to bypass security systems and steal vehicles. “Although we've seen increases in recent years, the rate of motor vehicle theft in Canada last year was 38% lower than in 2008. But it doesn't mean we can drop our guard. In fact, we need to be more vigilant than ever.”

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

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