Crime Prevention for Vehicle Owners
We’re asking Ottawa...
Thefts from vehicles are a city wide crime trend. From the scenarios below, which vehicle is at risk?
a) An unlocked vehicle with a GPS on the dash.
b) A locked vehicle with a wallet sitting on the passenger seat.
c) A locked vehicle parked on a poorly lit street with minimal pedestrian traffic.
d) They are all at risk.
The Right Answer: The right answer is D. Thefts from vehicles are a crime of opportunity and can happen anywhere, and at any time. It is therefore important to take as many preventative measures as possible to try and safeguard yourself from becoming a victim. Removing valuables, locking windows and doors, and parking in well lit areas with pedestrian traffic, are all steps you can take to help prevent this crime. You can also place an “All Valuables Removed” warning card in your window to help deter thieves. Find out more.
Safety in our city
Ottawa is regarded by many as one of the safest cities in the world, but that's no reason for vehicle owners to let their guard down. While the Ottawa Police Service will always be available to respond to crime, we need your active participation to help prevent crime.
Vehicle owners in Ottawa have told us that they're concerned with vehicle theft and thefts from vehicles. The following information provides a good start for addressing these issues and raising awareness about crime prevention in general. By incorporating these ideas into your daily routine, you will be less likely to become the target of criminals.
We can't do it alone - get informed, get involved and make crime prevention part of your everyday life. Together, we can continue to build a safer Ottawa for all. Contact your local Community Police Centre for additional crime prevention tips or to learn more about our "All Valuables Removed" warning cards.
Reduce the risk
- Don't leave personal identification, vehicle registration or insurance certificates or credit cards in your vehicle.
- Inscribe your vehicle registration number on the stereo system, wheel rims, tools, etc.
- Remove parcels from view.
- Never leave your keys in an unattended vehicle, even when running a quick errand.
- Always lock the doors and roll up the windows tightly.
- If possible, never leave your keys in the car when it is in a parking lot. Choose a lot where the attendant keeps the keys.
- Don't hide spare keys - they can be found.
- Never put your name or address on your house or car keys. This can lead the thief to your home and encourage easy access. Your vehicle registration number is sufficient. As well, keep vehicle and house keys on a separate key ring.
- Park in well lit areas with pedestrian traffic. Park your vehicle facing the street. Anyone tampering with it is more likely to be seen.
- If you have a garage, use it. Lock both the vehicle and garage.
- Consider installing anti-theft devices.
- When selling your vehicle, never let a stranger test drive it alone.
- When purchasing a vehicle, check the vehicle and all papers for the correct Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
- Make a photocopy of your vehicle registration and keep it with your valuable papers.
- Drop your business card down window channels into the door interior.
- Before driving your vehicle, check to make sure no one has stolen or switched your plates.
- Be suspicious of a fresh paint job on a late model, and persons offering to sell cars or car parts at bargain prices.
- Report suspicious persons, abandoned vehicles or any attempts of forced entry to the police.
- Have your keys in hand while approaching your vehicle and check the interior for uninvited passengers.
- If you are driving in a crowded area, keep doors locked and windows rolled up.
- As much as possible, stay in well-lit and well-travelled areas.
- If you suspect you are being followed, make a visible show of writing down the licence plate number, and stop at an open business or police station. Do not drive home if there is no one there.
- If a motorist stops to render assistance, it is safer to remain in your vehicle and ask the motorist to get help.
- If possible, have someone accompany you in underground parking lots.
If your vehicle is stolen…
Report the theft to the police immediately. The police will need a complete description including:
- Identification Number
- Plate number
- Ignition key number
- Insurance company
- Policy number
- Any outstanding features, dents, scratches
- Contents of the vehicle (e.g., stereo system, tools, etc.)
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