Theft Prevention

Most stolen property is not lost to organized criminals, but rather to "crimes of opportunity". All societies contain a small percentage of people who will take advantage of opportunities to help themselves to other people's property. When your personal possessions are visible and easy to take, these unscrupulous individuals will grab them and be gone in moments. The only way to stop this from happening is to make sure that you do not "advertise" your possessions and give these people the opportunity they need.

Keep your garage door closed
Open garages present the easiest opportunity for thieves. Homeowners frequently forget that their door is open, or assume that someone else in the household has closed it. Even if you are outside in your yard, a passer-by has the opportunity to see what items are in your garage and to take them when you are not looking. It only takes a few moments for them to strike while you are out of view.

Lock your vehicle
Unlocked vehicles are highly prone to theft of contents, and of the vehicle itself. Locking your vehicle will deter many criminals.

Hide removable items
Even a locked vehicle is tempting to thieves if they can see valuables inside. It only takes them seconds to break a window and escape with your property. The most effective way to prevent "smash and grab" thefts is to take valuables with you, and to hide the other removable items in your vehicle. Criminals don't steal things if they don't know they are there.

Why would anyone steal your stuff?
A lot of thefts are committed by drug addicts who will take anything in the hope that it can be sold to obtain their next "fix". Sometimes they cruise through "good" neighbourhoods where crime rates are low because they know that residents of these areas are less vigilant. Don't assume that low value items will not be taken - drug addicts do not have a reputation for rational thinking.

Lock your doors
Although less common than garage and vehicle thefts, some brazen thieves will walk into your home and help themselves. Criminals know that many people keep car keys, purses and wallets near the home entrance, and that they can be in and out of your home in seconds. This most often occurs when residents are at home, but not near the door (such as in the back yard or in other rooms).