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Protect Your Property

Follow these tips to secure your home and protect yourself from criminals. If you think someone has broken into your home, do not enter.  Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Raise your awareness to potential dangers by following these guidelines:

  • Walk with confidence and be aware of your surroundings, limiting distractions such as talking on your cell phone, texting and listening to music wearing headphones
  • When walking, choose populated areas, well-lit streets and avoid vacant lots, alleyways and isolated areas
  • Use sidewalks when available and walk facing oncoming traffic, knowing exactly where you are at all times
  • Carry a cell phone with you in the event of an emergency
  • Don’t carry excess money, credit cards or valuables and if carrying a bag or purse, be prepared to let it go if it’s grabbed
  • When approaching your vehicle, have your keys ready, check the backseat before entering and leave immediately so predators don’t have the time or the opportunity to approach you
  • When walking, if you feel like you’re being followed or threatened, safely cross the street or run in the opposite direction
  • If you are in trouble, scream loudly and yell for help
  • Consider carrying a whistle or personal alarm to use to attract attention to yourself
  • When walking in the dark, carry a flashlight and wear light coloured clothing
  • When driving, always plan your route and avoid deserted areas and streets
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers
  • If you suspect someone is following you, pull into a nearby parking lot, gas station or other public place, but DO NOT drive home
  • Always ensure there is a road map in your vehicle in the event you get lost as your cell phone may run out of battery, or lose service
  • Report suspicious activity or people to police at 519-376-1234
  • If you arrive home to find that your house has been broken into, do not enter as there may still be someone inside. Call police immediately from a neighbour’s home, or your cell phone. If you have entered, do not touch or clean up anything and wait for police to arrive.

  • If your identity is stolen or your credit history is compromised, it can take years to recover, and affects your sense of security. Take the steps to protect yourself:
  • Immediately report lost or stolen credit and debit cards.
  • Check monthly statements carefully and report any discrepancies to the issuing credit card company.
  • Never loan your credit and debit cards to anyone and sign all credit and debit cards when you receive them.
  • Cancel credit and debit cards you do not use and keep a list of the ones you use regularly.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery and do not leave pieces of mail lying around your residence or work place.
  • Shred bank statements and all paperwork you no longer need.
  • Never give out your passwords or Personal Identification Number (PIN).

General tips to prevent your home being targeted by criminals:

  • Ensure you have functioning locks, install quality deadbolts and a peep-hole
  • Install screws or a blocking device above sliding windows and doors to prevent them from being lifted off the tracks
  • Place a piece of wood in the track of sliding doors and windows to prevent them from being opened
  • Record serial numbers of valuable items within your home, and consider taking a video recording of the interior of your home to document all contents
  • Engrave valuables with a unique number or symbol to assist police in returning property if it is recovered
  • Purchase a safe to store important documents, expensive jewelry and other valuable items or money
  • Make sure your home is equipped with functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Don’t open the door to strangers – ask to see identification from repair personnel or salespeople and make a call to confirm their attendance with the company if you’re skeptical
  • Do not leave notes on your door advertising that you’re not home, or that you’re home alone
  • Avoid putting your name on your home, door or mailbox
  • Maintain a clear view to entry points, such as doors and windows, by keeping shrubs and bushes neatly trimmed as they provide a hiding place for criminals
  • Ensure your garage and shed are locked to prevent criminals from accessing tools or ladders that could be used to break into your home
  • Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour rather than hiding one outside of your home

Lighting Tips:

  • Install motion activated lights outside of your home near doors and windows
  • Utilize timers for interior lights and alternate the rooms they are turned on in to give the impression that someone is home
  • If you do not have timers, leave various lights on when leaving your home

Apartment Security Tips:

  • Get to know your neighbours and look out for one another, communicating when you will be away and become familiar with each other’s daily routine
  • Ensure external doors lock and are never left propped open
  • Don’t allow anyone to enter the building if you don’t know them
  • List only your first initial on the building directory
  • Report suspicious persons and activity to your landlord or police

Vacation Tips:

  • DO NOT advertise on social media sites that you are going on vacation or are going to be away from home
  • Wait until you return home before posting photos of your vacation online
  • Notify a trusted neighbour of your vacation plans and leave them with emergency contact numbers
  • Suspend newspaper delivery while you are away, or have someone attend regularly to collect the newspapers and mail
  • Hire someone to keep the grass cut or driveway shovelled while you are away, and ask a neighbour to park in your driveway and put some of their garbage at your curb

Prevent your vehicle from being damaged or stolen by following these simple steps:

  • Park in well-lit, high visibility areas and always keep your doors locked and windows up
  • Ensure that valuable items are out of sight or stored securely in the trunk
  • NEVER leave your vehicle unattended when it’s running
  • Don’t leave your keys inside your vehicle, or hide a spare key somewhere within it
  • Have control of your keys at all times, and when not in use, ensure they are out of sight, not hanging beside the door inside your home
  • When possible, park in a secure garage
  • Invest in anti-theft devices such as an alarm or vehicle tracking device

Lock It or Lose It:

The Owen Sound Police Service would like to remind citizens the importance of locking your vehicle at all times. At Throughout the year, especially during special holidays, OSPS will take part in the “Lock it OR Lose it” campaign. However, it is important to remember that vehicle and property thefts can occur at any time of year and are both preventable by following a few simple tips:

  • Always lock your vehicle and never leave your keys inside of it
  • Park in well-lit, populated areas
  • Ensure that any valuables and parcels are not in plain sight within your vehicle, or are stored securely in the trunk
  • Prevent identity theft by not storing personal documents (vehicle ownership, insurance cards, credit card statements or drivers licence) within the vehicle

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