DRYDEN, ON – The Dryden Police Service is reminding motorists and passengers to Lock It OR Lose It when it comes to their vehicles and valuables because Bad Santas are looking to ruin this holiday season. The annual provincial Lock It OR Lose It campaign (#LockItOrLoseIt) is sponsored by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).
Ontario police services are launching this year’s Lock It OR Lose It campaign during the holiday season because it’s easy to be distracted and leave vehicles unlocked or valuables in plain sight during this time of the year. Our Dryden Police Service will use Lock it or Lose it notices throughout the year as part of our on-going crime prevention efforts.
“Securing your vehicle and valuables makes sense year-round. But we know that would-be thieves are especially looking to play the role of Bad Santa during the holiday season by stealing your vehicle or valuables such as GPS and mobile devices, laptops, shopping bags, money and credit cards. Don’t be a victim. Lock it OR lose it.” said Inspector Ann Tkachyk.
During the Lock It OR Lose It campaign, police officers, auxiliary officers, and special constables examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. They 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.
Between 2016 and 2017, there was an overall increase of 6% in auto theft across Canada. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, on average, a car is stolen every seven minutes in Canada. Automobile thefts cost Canadians close to $1 billion. This can be broken down to $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs, and the rest for correctional services. It’s estimated that about 40 people die and 65 people are injured as a direct result of auto theft every year.
Motorists and passengers are urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge.