While car break-ins are not on the rise, they are a “never-ending headache” that requires car owners to be diligent and consistent.
That’s the word from 55 Division community policing officer Jon Morrice, responding to social media reports lamenting recent car break-ins in the East End.
He is going to speak with 55 Division’s investigating team about whether or not it makes sense to place a bait car – a car fitted to catch car thieves or people who steal items from cars in the act – in the Beach, but said “there are legal and investigative issues with a bait car.”
Meanwhile, Morrice said the most effective way to protect your property is to keep valuables out of your car.
“Police across Ontario used to use the slogan ‘Lock It Or Lose It’ in campaigns to prevent car break-ins. I kind of feel a better slogan might be to promote removing all valuables from cars entirely,” he said.
“Don’t have your GPS on the dashboard, hockey equipment in the rear… I accept it can be a pain, but try and remember to remove your valuables from your car each night.”
Despite increased social media chatter about break-ins, Morrice said that car break-ins are not on the rise and “generally remain constant throughout the year.” They are difficult to predict and prevent because they are opportunistic and there are rarely any witnesses or physical evidence, he said, noting that surveillance cameras are useful in solving and investigating these crimes.
As for who breaks into cars? It is not often someone who is known to the victim.
“It’s generally repeat offenders,” he said.