Police officer catches journalist in the act of doing something stupid. You didn’t lock it Mister, you could lose it.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  December 7 2012  In the world of journalism you are supposed to cover the story – not become the story.  And becoming  the story when a handful of the city’s finest are involved can get a little sticky.

A posse of Halton Regional police greet visitors to Tansley Wood on Friday as they spread the Lock it or Lose it story to area residents.

The Halton Regional Police Service announced it was launching  its ‘Lock it or Lose it’ campaign at the Tansley Woods Community Centre.  Deputy  Chief Andrew Fletcher was to be on hand along with other Senior officers, District personnel, Police Cadets and Auxiliary Police.

I had a couple of things I wanted to talk to the Deputy Chief about so I drove over to Tansley Woods, parked my car and headed for the lobby of the building and noticed that there were police officers going from car to car. “Those miserable buggers”, I muttered to myself, handing out parking tickets.

Went into the building chatted with the deputy Chief and then headed back out to my car to pick up my camera and noticed there was a police officer standing beside my car writing up a ticket.  I broke into a trot to catch the police officer’s attention and ask why I was being given a ticket – there was no sign saying I could not park.

Auxiliary police officer Voorberg tucks a notice under a car windshield as Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher makes sure it gets done right. Both were taking part in the Lock it or Lose it Campaign that was launched at Tansley Wood Friday morning.

Then I realized where I had gone wrong.  I was attending an event where police were telling the public to not only lock there cars when they parked but to put anything valuable under the seat or in the trunk and not leave them out in the open, where thieves could smash the window and grab your stuff.

The wife wants to know what the police notice is about; the purse, a gift from her had been left on the front seat of my car. The wine glass belongs to the wife.

Breaking into a car in broad daylight at Tansley Woods was a bit of a stretch but it does happen as Auxiliary police officer Voorberg  politely told me when he handed over the warning notice.

The “Lock it or Lose it” initiative is an important public service.  It is first a proactive crime prevention program that encourages drivers to take precautions to protect their vehicles and vehicle contents from theft, particularly during the holiday season.

“Our police service is joining police services across Ontario this holiday season in urging motorists to lock their vehicles and ensure valuables are not left in plain sight,” said Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher. “The Lock it or Lose it campaign is about police working with our community to ensure we all take precautions so that crime doesn’t ruin the holiday season.”

Under ‘Lock it or Lose it’, police officers examine parked vehicles to confirm they are locked and that no valuables have been left in plain view. Officers place a small notice on vehicles checked indicating what safety precautions were neglected and offering some simple prevention tips for drivers to protect their vehicles against theft.

In 2011, 82,411 vehicles were stolen in Canada. The good news is that auto theft was down nationally by 12 percent, with Ontario down by 9 percent. Unfortunately, Ontario auto theft still amounted to just more than $93 million in 2011. This cost is passed onto the consumer.

Since January 1st, 2011 to December 1st, 2012, there have been 4261 reported incidents of theft from motor vehicles in Halton Region. The vast majority of these thefts were preventable if motorists had secured their vehicles and valuables.

Thieves recently went through the Orchard community stealing anything they could find in cars that were not locked.

Gotta learn to put my purse underneath the seat or in the trunk of the car.  The purse was a gift from the wife and as you can tell by her picture – this is not a woman to trifle with.


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