The Ottawa Police would like to remind residents to remain vigilant, stay safe, and safeguard their vehicles to avoid being a victim of vehicle theft.
Over 1200 thefts of various vehicles have been reported to police this year, in several different neighbourhoods across Ottawa (see attached maps). This month, there have been 85 vehicle theft reports filed.
The Ottawa Police continues to work with municipal, provincial and federal governments and partners to disrupt these criminal organizations.
To counter this growing crime trend, Ottawa Police experts have trained patrol officers on the current trends, and the technologies and methods needed to intercept thefts in progress before they leave the city.
The Ottawa Police frontline patrol has made more than 80 arrests this year, and 315 stolen vehicles have been recovered. District investigators have been successful in their prosecutions and will continue to hold offenders accountable in the court of law.
Thefts of late model luxury SUVs and light trucks continue in Ottawa however, the vehicle theft trend is not limited to Lexus/Toyota products. Newer models of the Rav4 , Honda CRV, Jeep Grand Cherokee as well as Ford F-Series trucks (higher trim level) and all makes and models of vehicles that are equipped with a proximity key (i.e., push-button start), have also been targeted by thieves. Vehicle thefts have also increased in the province of Quebec and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Public Safety Warning
Recently, Ottawa thieves have been arrested with weapons in their possession, to intimidate vehicle owners who catch them in the act. Items like a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) known as a taser, pepper spray, crow bars have been seized.
If you see someone attempting to steal your car, please call 911. For your own safety, DO NOT engage the thief. Further to that, if you have the ability to track your vehicle once it has been stolen, do not follow the vehicle. Please call 911 and advise the operator that you have a tracking device on the vehicle.
Vehicle owners are encouraged to consider the following prevention methods:
- Park inside a garage if available (in Ottawa to date, no vehicles have been stolen from inside a garage);
- 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 911 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.
For more information, visit ottawapolice.ca
We ask the public to please report any suspicious activity immediately to police at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300 or for a crime in progress, call 911.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.
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Media Relations Section
Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5366