With bitterly cold temperatures continuing it’s tempting to leave your vehicle idling and unattended while it warms up but Peterborough Police warn this action is an open invitation to thieves.
Protect your property and plan to leave extra time during your routine to put on a few extra layers of clothes and stay with your vehicle while it warms up. We all have a role to play in crime prevention and a little extra vigilance and planning goes a long way in helping to prevent auto theft.
Unless your vehicle is equipped with a remote starter so the vehicle can be warmed-up but not driven the best advice is to always stay with your vehicle.
We also encourage people not to leave spare keys or garage door openers inside their vehicle. Make sure any valuables or items, such as a garage door opener, are taken inside with you.
We have had incidents where thieves have entered a vehicle and then used the garage door opener to access and enter a home.
Crime Prevention Tips:
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended – this includes your driveway
- Get an auto-starter or wait inside your car while it warms up
- Don’t leave garage door openers or spare sets of keys in vehicles
- Park in a well-lighted, attended area if possible
- Lock valuable in your trunk or take them with you
- Completely close and lock doors and windows
- Record the following information: Year, make, model and colour of vehicle; licence plate number; vehicle identification number; serial numbers of all special equipment; special markings, i.e dents, scratches, other damage, etc.
- Report any suspicious activity or vehicle crime to police
- If your vehicle or keys have been stolen, immediately change the locks to anything that can be unlocked by those keys, including your residence and garage
Along with having your vehicle stolen while it’s left running and unattended, thieves can also steal your identification and insurance that was left inside. Thieves can then use your vehicle permit and insurance certificate to commit fraud or steal your identity.
Follow these tips to keep your documents safe:
- Keep them in a secure place with you. You need to be able to provide this information to police if asked
- Avoid putting them in an open purse or large pocket where they could fall out or be easily stolen
- Never leave originals or even photocopies inside your vehicle, especially not in plain view
- Don’t leave them in your vehicle’s glove box, in case the vehicle is stolen
- Keep them in a secure place when you’re at home. Never leave them lying around, especially if you employ outside help
- Shred or cut old documents into small pieces before you put them in the trash or recycling bin. This helps guard against “dumpster diving” by thieves who want to steal your identity
With information from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation