I would like to take a moment to remind residents to take precautions and ensure that any vehicles parked in driveways or the side of the road should always remain locked when not in use.
Ottawa Police Services (OPS) advise residents to never leave personal identification, spare keys, credit cards, or valuables in your vehicle and any other items of value that remain should be hidden from view including loose change, shopping bags, GPS systems and/or music-playing devices.
One useful tip to prevent vehicular break-ins is to run a mental checklist every time you leave your vehicle with questions like:
- Are the windows raised all the way with the doors locked?
- Am I parked in a well-lit area with regular foot traffic to deter potential break-ins?
- If parked in the driveway, have I backed in to make sure anyone tampering with the vehicle is more likely to be seen?
Other alternatives for protecting your belongings could be engraving your vehicle registration number on your stereo system, wheel rims, tools, etc. You might also consider installing an anti-theft device or using your garage more regularly.
If you or someone you know has recently had their vehicle broken into, I understand it can be a devastating experience. However, as urgently as possible, it is important to report the theft to the Ottawa police online at Ottawapolice.ca. Upon reporting, OPS requests a complete description of your vehicle including:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Plate number
- Ignition key number
- Insurance company
- Policy number
- Any outstanding features, dents, scratches
- Contents of the vehicle (e.g., stereo system)
I encourage residents to help their street by organizing a neighbourhood watch by contacting our Community Police Liaison, Kevin Williams at WilliamsK@Ottawapolice.ca, and coordinator for neighbourhood watches, Victor McNabney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope that some residents find these tips helpful. Of course, never hesitate to contact your Ottawa Police Services whenever you suspect strange activity in your neighbourhood. Be prepared, and be safe.