Ontario Police and Community Safety Partners Team Up to Prevent Thefts of Vehicles and Valuables Left in Plain View

(Toronto, ON) – With the holiday season upon us, Ontario's police leaders are warning motorists to Lock it OR Lose it when it comes to their vehicles and valuables because Bad Santas are looking to ruin 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 Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

"This time of the year should be one in which we look forward to spending time with our families and friends. But would-be thieves are looking to play the role of Bad Santa by stealing your vehicle or valuables left unsecured. Keeping things 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 OACP President Chief Kimberley Greenwood (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 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.

"The insurance industry is proud to work with the OACP to support the Lock It OR Lose It campaign," said John Tod, National Director, Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Programs like these help to deter car thieves by making drivers aware of risks, and there are significant risks. Between 2016 and 2017, we saw an overall increase of 6% in auto theft across Canada.  Don't make it easy to be a victim of auto theft."

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 are 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.

Thank you to our community and corporate partners for their support of Lock It OR Lose It crime prevention initiatives across Ontario: Insurance Bureau of Canada, Accident Support Services International, arrive alive/Drive Sober, Circle K Stores, and Canpar for supporting.

Top 10 Things Would-be Thieves Look for When Looking for Opportunities Involving Vehicles

  1. Vehicle left running
  2. Unlocked doors or trunk
  3. Bags of any sort (especially shopping bags around the holiday season)
  4. Visible Electronics
  5. Phone Chargers showing
  6. Loose Change in view
  7. Sunglasses
  8. Tools
  9. Watch or other jewellery
  10. Easy access to the trunk from the vehicle cab

The Lock it OR Lose it Campaign is supported by a number of OACP partners:

  • Accident Support Services International
  • arrive alive/DRIVE SOBER
  • Canpar Express
  • Circle K Stores
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada