Close to 40 vehicle reported stolen during last week of November: OPS

By Anil Jhalli

It’s the holiday season, and Ottawa police are reminding people to keep their vehicles locked and activate any safety measures when parking at malls for Christmas shopping.

“Thieves scout these areas and will steal vehicles day or night,” said the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) in a post to X on Monday, Dec. 4.

According to the OPS, close to 40 vehicles were reported stolen during the last week of November of this year.

On Nov. 21, Ottawa police said officers have made more than 80 arrests this year, and 315 stolen vehicles have been recovered.

At the time, Ottawa police said 1,200 vehicle thefts have been reported in 2023, and 85 have been reported in November of 2023 (as of Nov. 21, 2023).

Vehicle owners are encouraged to consider the following prevention methods: 

  • Park inside a garage if available
  • Block your vehicle in tightly in front of a second less sought after vehicle or a barricade
  • If you do not have a garage or second vehicle, one of the most reliable techniques is to install an after-market vehicle immobilizer and alarm
  • Use a steering wheel lock (i.e. “club”) to deter thieves (keep in mind they can cut the steering wheel to remove it); it works best when combined with a secondary anti-theft device that may not be as visible to the thief
  • Install after-market tracking devices, GPS or air tag trackers – many of these have the ability to “fence in your car” notifying the owner’s phone if the vehicle leaves the established perimeter
  • If you use tracking devices, be mindful that the thief may also be able to detect that the vehicle is being tracked. Ensure they are well hidden in a less obvious location.
  • If you find a tracking device in your vehicle or receive a message on your phone that you are being tracked, please call police, as this is one means that thieves use to find a targeted vehicle. They typically return under the cover of darkness to steal it
  • Install an Engine Control Module (ECM) port-lock
  • Install motion detection lights and exterior surveillance cameras at home as these can act as a deterrent
  • Keep in mind that thieves have returned to steal the replacement vehicle when a vehicle has been stolen, so remain vigilant
  • Neighbourhood watch is still the best defense – so please report any suspicious activity immediately to police at 613-236-1222.  Call 9-1-1 to report a crime in progress.
  • When parking your vehicle at shopping malls or sporting events, for example, always lock your doors and activate any security features. Thieves scout these areas and will steal vehicles day or night.

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