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  Don't Forget - Lock It or Lose It!

Oct 29, 2009 09:28 ET

A professional can steal your vehicle in just 30 seconds - without the key. The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are encouraging citizens to "Lock It or Lose It". The goal of the proactive crime prevention program is to encourage drivers to take a few simple precautions that will protect their vehicles, and vehicle contents, from theft.

An unlocked door or an open window is an invitation to thieves. The "Lock
It or Lose It" program reminds drivers to always:

- Roll up their vehicles' windows
- Keep valuables out of sight
- Lock their doors
- Pocket their keys

Under the "Lock It or Lose It" program, police officers examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view.

"A small notice placed on every vehicle checked indicates what safety precautions were neglected and offers a few simple prevention tips, drivers can use to protect their vehicles against theft," states Chief Dan Parkinson, President of the OACP. "The notice also congratulates those who have taken the time to ensure their vehicle is secure, with valuables out of sight."

"Auto theft costs Canadians more than $1 billion every year," states Richard Dubin, IBC VP, Investigative Services. "About half of all stolen vehicles are used to commit another crime or are driven - often recklessly - for simple purposes of transportation (this is called 'destination theft'). In these cases, the thieves are usually amateurs who take advantage of owner negligence by grabbing the first vehicle they can find that's been left unsecured. In the other cases, vehicles are stolen by professional thieves involved in organized crime rings."

Vehicles left warming up in driveways on cold mornings, or outside of coffee shops, convenience stores and ATM locations, are also vulnerable to being stolen.

Many of thefts of vehicles and thefts of vehicle contents are easily prevented. The key to protecting your vehicle is in your hands. Keep yourself from becoming an easy target by properly securing your vehicle. Remember: Lock It or Lose It!"

More details about crime proofing may be found on-line at: www.ibc.ca.



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