This holiday shopping season, Kingston Police have launched their ‘Lock it OR Lose it’ campaign, and are reminding citizens not to leave valuables in their vehicles, and to be sure to lock their doors.
According to police, thefts of this type are usually thefts of opportunity. “Someone trying door handles will enter unlocked parked vehicles and steal anything of value,” Kingston Police said. “On rare occasions, a thief may smash a window or cause damage to get into a locked vehicle, especially if something of value can be seen from the outside. This forced entry creates a greater chance of the thief being caught due to the noise and is therefore far less common.”
Police recommend that individuals make it a habit to never leave a wallet or purse inside their vehicle, even for a quick stop. Cancelling credit/debit cards, dealing with potential identity fraud, and going through the process of obtaining new financial cards and identification is not only a significant inconvenience, it can also be a costly mistake, Kingston Police said in a media release on Friday, Dec. 9, 2022.
Motorists and passengers are also urged not to keep personal documents such as vehicle ownership, liability pink slips, credit card invoices, or other documents containing personal information in their vehicles.
“Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for export, and even take out a mortgage against victims’ properties without their knowledge,” police said. “Locked or unlocked, a vehicle is not a safe place to leave your valuables.”
Kingston Police provided the top 10 things would-be thieves look for when looking for opportunities involving vehicles:
- Vehicle left running
- Unlocked doors or trunk
- Bags of any sort (especially shopping bags around the holiday season)
- Visible electronics
- Phone chargers showing
- Loose change in view
- Watch or other jewelry
- Easy access to the trunk from the vehicle cab
During the Lock It OR Lose It campaign, Kingston Police Community Volunteers will check parked vehicles at local malls to ensure people are taking steps to keep their belongings safe, according to the release. Police said the volunteers will place a small notice on all vehicles checked indicating what safety precautions were neglected and offer simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft. The notices will also congratulate drivers who have secured their vehicle. At no time will the volunteers be opening vehicle doors or checking vehicle door handles.