The Ontario Provincial Police are reminding vehicle owners to always be vigilant and take some basic action to prevent automobile thefts.
If you are careless and uninterested in locking your vehicle and pocketing your ignition key, you very well could become the next victim, they say.
Perth County OPP, for instance, report that so far this year they’ve investigated 44 stolen vehicle cases. More than half of the incidents involved unlocked vehicles and situations where the ignition key was left in the vehicle, readily accessible nearby or vehicle left running while the driver left it unattended.
Automobile theft is largely a crime of opportunity and owners need to remove this opportunity. Two things you can do to greatly reduce your chance of becoming a victim are. Always lock your vehicle and always pocket your keys, police stress.
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“Crime prevention is critical to community safety. Theft of vehicles are often crimes of opportunity with people targeting unlocked vehicles. We ask for your help by securing your vehicle and keys. Together we can help prevent this type of crime,” said the Perth County detachment commander, Insp. Wendy Burrow, in a release.
Some 50 per cent of the vehicles stolen were trucks; 59 per cent had the keys left in the vehicle or the vehicle was left running; 65 per cent of vehicles were stolen after dark between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; and 52 per cent of the vehicles were stolen from rural areas versus 48 per cent from a town or built-up area
10:54 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of a theft from a fenced compound of a business on Church Street West in Woolwich Township. It is believed this incident occurred between Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Aug. 22. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police or Crime Stoppers.
7:24 PM | Perth County Ontario OPP responded after receiving a report of an assault that took place in the Municipality of North Perth. During the investigation, it was determined that the accused damaged the victim’s door. The victim attended the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. A 30-year-old resident of Mapleton was arrested and charged with ‘assault – spousal,’ ‘forcible confinement’ (2 counts), ‘assault causing bodily harm – spousal’ and ‘theft under $5,000.’ The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.
1:01 AM | Police attended a vacant building on William Street in Elmira for a report of a break-and-enter in progress. Officers cleared the building and did not locate any persons inside. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.
6:00 AM | Wellington County OPP responded to a report of a collision between a vehicle and a cyclist on Wellington Road 8, Mapleton Township. The cyclist was transported to a local hospital with serious but non-life-altering injuries. As a result of the investigation, a 30-year-old from Moorefield was charged with ‘careless driving.’ Police issued a reminder to drivers to pay attention for cyclists, especially during the early morning hours and late afternoon when it is darker outside. Cyclists are also reminded that they must have a light on their bicycle and are encouraged to wear reflective gear.
12:10 AM | Police made an arrest after a youth was stabbed in Breslau. Officers responding to the area of Dolman Street and Woolwich Street South found a 17-year-old male victim who was subsequently transported to an out-of-region hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. As a result of the investigation, an 18-year-old Cambridge man was charged with ‘aggravated assault,’ ‘possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose’ and ‘failure to comply with a sentence or disposition.’ The accused was held in custody for a bail hearing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
2:00 AM | A 27-year-old Perth East Township man was arrested for impaired driving after a Perth County OPP officer travelling on Line 56 conducted a traffic stop. During the investigation, the officer determined the driver was impaired. He was arrested and transported to a local operations centre for further testing, and subsequently charge with ‘operation while impaired – blood alcohol concentration (80 plus),’ ‘operation while impaired – alcohol and drugs,’ ‘failure to comply with undertaking’ and ‘mischief- domestic.’ His driver’s license was suspended for 90 days and vehicle impounded for 30 days. The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.
3:00 PM | A 19-year-old Perth East man was died after a collision on Perth’s Line 34. Perth County OPP and other emergency responders were called to the scene after the cyclist was struck by a vehicle. The victim was transported to a local hospital and then airlifted to a London-area hospital with life-threatening injuries. He later died as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision. Police expect to press no charges.
9:35 AM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to the area of Northfield Drive East and Scotch Line Road in Woolwich Township following a report about occupants of a vehicle pointing firearms outside of the vehicle windows. Police located the vehicle in the area and identified the occupants, who were hunting for birds. As a result of the investigation, police charged a 27-year-old Goderich man with ‘unlawfully shoot air gun’ under the Conservation Authorities Act.
6:45 AM | A Kitchener man faces numerous charges after being tracked to Woolwich Township. Police had responded to a report of an erratic driver in the area of Homer Watson Boulevard and Ottawa Street South in Kitchener. The vehicle was found in the neighbour township, leading police to arrest a male on outstanding warrants. Police also determined that the vehicle was stolen. A 23-year-old Kitchener man has been charged with ‘dangerous operation of a vehicle,’ ‘flight from police,’ ‘driving while under suspension,’ nine counts of ‘operation of a vehicle while prohibited,’ ‘motor vehicle theft,’ ‘possession of stolen property over $5,000,’ two counts of ‘possession of stolen property under $5,000,’ six counts of ‘breach of probation order’ and three counts of ‘failing to comply with judicial release.’ He was held in police custody for a bail hearing.