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