Ontario Police Leaders Team Up With the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Accident Support Services International to Stop Thefts of Vehicles and Valuables Left in Plain View

December 4, 2019 (Hamilton, ON) – Ontario's police leaders are teaming up with the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and Accident Support Services International to warn motorists to Lock it OR Lose it when it comes to securing their vehicles and valuables this holiday season.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has 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 the Lime Ridge Mall in Hamilton.

"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.

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 vehicles unlocked or valuables in plain sight during the festive hustle-and-bustle. Police will use Lock it OR Lose it notices throughout the year as part of on-going crime prevention efforts.

"About 236 motor vehicles are stolen in Canada every day. That's 86,132 incidents per year. In Ontario alone, almost 24,000 vehicles were reported stolen," Bryan Gast, the IBC's National Director, Investigative Services. "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."

According to Gast, today's auto thieves are turning to technology – and vehicles' electronic systems – to bypass security systems and steal vehicles. Electronic auto theft is on the rise as more vehicles are equipped with technology such as keyless entry fobs. In fact, the insurance industry has seen the growing trend that thieves are able to copy FOB information and steal cars right from your driveway.

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 – not just ones that are found unsecured – 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.

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.


For more information, contact:

Joe Couto
Director of Government Relations & Communications
T. (416) 926-0424 ext. 22
C. (416) 919-9798
E. media@oacp.ca


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