News

City police warn residents to Lock it OR Lose it!

Friday, December 13, 2013   by: Kate Adams

City police kicked off the Lock it or Lose it campaign at Northgate Shopping Centre Thursday by checking vehicles and letting folks know where they went right or wrong by placing checklists on their windshields.

Details in the news release below.

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The North Bay Police Service is warning motorists about the dangers of identity theft resulting from unlocked vehicles or the leaving of valuables in plain sight, particularly during the holiday season, as part of the the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police’s (OACP) annual Lock it or Lose it campaign.

The campaign is a proactive crime prevention program that encourages drivers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and vehicle contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season.

“Police want motorists to be aware about the dangers involved in leaving vehicles unlocked or valuables in plain sight,” said Acting Sergeant Jim Kilroy. “We are especially concerned about the opportunity for identity theft resulting from the theft of unlocked vehicles or valuables.”

During the Lock it OR Lose it campaign, police officers examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. Officers place a small notice on vehicles checked indicating 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.

Police are urging motorists not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, and passports in vehicles when unoccupied. Identity thieves looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ property without their knowledge. Victims may not realize they have been victimized until it is too late, costing them time and money to rectify the damage.

The number of stolen vehicles has dropped dramatically recently, with 4,500 fewer motor vehicle thefts in 2012 than in 2011, and a 57 percent drop from a decade ago. Despite this positive trend, Ontario’s police leaders and our community partners are concerned that in 2012, there were 12,739 incidents of identity theft and identity fraud reported to police, a five percent increase from 2011.

The Provincial Lock it or Lose it is supported by a number of OACP partners: Insurance Bureau of Canada, Interac Association, Roy Speed Ross/Globali, Mac’s Convenience Stores, Canpar, and TitlePLUS.

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