The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is encouraging citizens to “Lock It or Lose It.” The goal is to encourage citizens to take a few simple precautions that will protect their property and vehicles from theft. An unlocked door or an open window is an invitation to thieves.
Citizens are encouraged to take a look around their property to see if there are items left out for thieves to steal. It is common for a homeowner to leave items such as bikes, toys, tools etc. out in plain view. Place your belongings in a secure location or lock them up. This includes your garage, shed or the car parked in your driveway.
Here are a few easy things that citizens can do to prevent theft:
Protect your home
- Keep doors locked at all times, even when you are at home.
- Keep your garage locked, even when you are at home.
- Leave exterior lights on to deter potential intruders. While you’re away from home, leave at least two interior lights on, preferably on timers.
- Don’t leave extra/spare keys in obvious places. Criminals know more hiding spots than you do.
- Put tools away after a day of yard work. Lock them in a shed or in an enclosed garage area. Screwdrivers, hammers, etc. can be used to break into your home, garage, or vehicle.
- Bicycles and other ride-on toys: Always put them in a garage or shed. If you do not have either, lock them to something that can’t be moved.
- Keep bushes and trees trimmed around your property.
- Check in with your neighbours from time-to-time using physical distancing (phone/email/text).
Protect your vehicle
- Don’t leave personal identification, vehicle registration or insurance certificates, or credit cards in your vehicle.
- Remove valuables and shopping bags from view. This includes loose change and electronic devices such as cell phones and GPS navigation systems.
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended.
- Always close windows all the way and lock the doors.
- Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic. Park your vehicle facing the street. Anyone tampering with it is more likely to be seen.
- Don’t hide spare keys in your vehicle — they can be found. And never put your name or address on your house or car keys.
- If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and garage.
If you are the victim of a theft, report it to your police service of jurisdiction. If that is the OPP, visit opp.ca/reporting