Crime Prevention: Theft from Vehicles

The Ottawa Police Service is asking for your help to reduce the incidents of vehicle theft and thefts from vehicles.  Crime Prevention constantly attacks the idea of “crimes of opportunity”.

Thefts from vehicles is one of the easiest crimes for a thief, given the opportunity provides ease.  The criminal will target unattended vehicles, at opportune moments, reducing the chances of being seen.  Vehicles parked overnight in quiet residential neighborhoods are prime targets, with little chance of a witness. Vehicles parked at places of business or community transportation lots advertise a driver perhaps not returning for a long period of time.

The criminal wage from their labor will be measured by the criminal him/herself.  Is the return worth the investment of time?  There has been far too much theft from vehicle or theft of vehicle reports in the city of Ottawa this past year.  Thefts range from change in the ashtray, GPS systems, cigarettes, I- pods to the theft of the vehicle itself. Some of the vehicles stolen are used in more serious crimes of robbery or break and enter. It would seem to tell us as police investigating the crimes, that the criminals involved are young person’s walking the neighborhoods to the career criminal. 

Is it all lost as hopeless?  The answer of course is, “NO”.  Reduction in Crimes of Opportunity is directly related to some basic Prevention Tips.

-Don’t leave the doors unlocked when you are away from the vehicle

-Don’t keep personal identification in the vehicle.  A photocopy of your vehicle ownership meets the legislated requirements to surrender documents to the police upon request.

-Don’t leave automatic garage door openers in the vehicle (can leave open access to your home.)

-Don’t leave any attractive valuables in the vehicle

-Always leave the vehicle interior clean and empty.  It won’t look inviting.

-Always park the vehicle in well-lit areas.

-Always make every effort to use your residential garage (if you have one).

-If you have a landlord, develop a close working relationship. Advise immediately about broken/burnt out lights, malfunctioning/miss timed common garage doors and any occurrences that might happen.  The landlord can’t fix a problem until they are aware of it.

-Report suspicious activity to the police. With success of an easy return the criminal will stay in our neighborhood. Police Investigators will be able to identify the criminal with any and all available intelligence from the public.

Finally, attend your local Community Police Center for more information on this or any other Crime Prevention Program.

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