Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police & Insurance Bureau of Canada -
Encouraging citizens to "Lock It or Lose It!"

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - 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; and,
    -  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," says Parkinson.

"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!"

Thanks to the partnership and generous support of Insurance Bureau of Canada, this program, including vehicle notices, is now available to all Police Services in Ontario.

In concert with the 2009 OACP Crime Prevention Campaign and Crime Prevention Week in Ontario, a media conference launching this province wide program will be held:

                      Thursday November 5, 2009 at 10am
                           Yorkdale Shopping Centre
                      3401 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON


    Inspector Mark Allen                 Insurance Bureau of Canada
    OACP Crime Prevention Committee      James Geuzebroek
    (705) 329 - 6435                     416-362-2031 ext. 4364

         More details about crime - proofing may be found on-line at:

    Members of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police serve their
    communities as the senior police leaders in municipal, regional,
    provincial, national, and First Nations police services across Ontario

SOURCE Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police

For further information: For further information: Joe Couto, Director of Government Relations and Communications, OACP, T. (416) 926-0424 ext. 22, C. (416) 575-1731, Evenings (416) 695-7096, E. jcouto@oacp.ca, www.oacp.ca

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