The Orillia OPP would like to caution residents of the Township of Oro-Medonte to LOCK IT OR LOSE IT following numerous reported thefts from vehicles.
On May 12, 2021, officers received three reports of vehicles that had been entered overnight in the Ridge Road and Line 7 south area. In one occurrence, the homeowner confronted a male wearing a dark jacket and toque, carrying two shopping bags. The male responded that he was looking for his dog and left the area. In another investigation, home video surveillance captured images of a similarly dressed male checking the door handles of two parked vehicles.
The Orillia OPP responded to 19 similar reports in the months of January, February and March, 2021, many of which involved vehicles that were left unlocked. Though often considered minor in nature, these violations can also lead to further crime, including identification theft and fraud. In two of the reported thefts in that time frame, attempts were made to use credit cards which had been stolen from the vehicles. Residents are reminded of the following tips to help prevent crime and protect your property:
· Always roll up your vehicle’s windows, lock the doors and pocket the key.
· Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.
· If you have a garage, use it and lock the door as well as your vehicle.
· Never leave your car keys in plain view or in an easily accessible area.
· Keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you at all times. Don’t leave these documents in your glove compartment.
· Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
· Never leave valuable objects or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk.
· Never leave automatic garage door openers in plain sight. If stolen, thieves could gain access to your garage at a later time.
· Would-be thieves often target visible electronics and chargers, loose change, sunglasses, tools, etc.
LOCK IT OR LOSE IT is a province-wide crime prevention initiative established by the OPP and facilitated by police officers and Auxiliary officers. The goal is to raise public awareness of the dangers of leaving vehicles unlocked and/or valuables in sight, through media outreach. Police and Auxiliary personnel can fill out a notice that resembles a parking ticket and leave it on the windshield of a vehicle to indicate that the vehicle was checked and found to be locked, with no valuables in sight, or unlocked and/or with valuables in sight. In March 2021, Orillia Auxiliary members attended numerous Oro-Medonte public parking locations to conduct this important initiative.
The Orillia OPP detachment is currently analyzing data pertaining to these property crimes in order to establish focused patrols for problem areas. Theft from vehicles is a common and often unreported crime. You can help by reporting these crimes and any suspicious vehicles and vehicle-related activity to your local police service. You can report minor occurrences online by visiting www.opp.ca/reporting