Hamilton Police have released a list of measures residents can take to combat a growing wave of auto thefts in the city.
This week Hamilton Police arrested a 29-year-old man after he was observed entering vehicles shortly after 11:00 p.m. in the downtown area. The accused is facing the following charges, Theft of Motor Vehicle, Break and Enter and Unlawful Possession Over. He will appear in court on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 9:00 a.m.
Hamilton Police are launching an operation to combat auto theft. As part of this response, officers are increasing patrols in identified target areas.
Most vehicle crimes take place during overnight hours where there are few members of the public out.
Why vehicles are stolen:
To sell the vehicle or parts – Often thieves will take your car out of the Province or Country. Identification numbers may be altered or removed, ownership certificates forged, parts sold or the vehicle repainted.
For transportation – Thieves will use your vehicle to get where they want to go and later abandon the vehicle. They may just drive it around to gain ‘status’ with their friends.
To commit other crimes – Vehicles are stolen and used in other crimes such as robberies, break and enters, drug dealing.
For vehicle cloning – Vehicles are stolen, given a fraudulent identification number and then sold to unsuspecting persons who are defrauded of their money. Fraudulent vehicles will be located and seized by the Police.
Police are offering the following tips to guard against having a vehicle stolen
Securing your vehicle can be as simple as parking it in a locked garage. No room in the garage? A steering wheel locking device is an effective deterrent.
When parking your vehicle:
Turn ignition off and TAKE the keys with you
Park in a well-lighted, attended area if possible
Lock all valuables in your trunk
Completely close and lock doors and windows
Turn your wheels to the side to make it harder to tow
When at home:
If you have a garage, use it and lock it
If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway
If you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first
Always set the emergency brake
Don’t leave the ownership or insurance cards in the vehicle when unattended
Drop business cards or address labels inside doors to assist with vehicle identification
Other important tips
Never hide a spare key in the vehicle, thieves know where to find it
Be aware of your surroundings while driving and drive with your doors locked
Be aware when purchasing a vehicle. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
If your vehicle is stolen…
1. Report the theft to the police immediately.
2. If your car or accessories are stolen, the police will need specific information to identify the car, parts and accessories.
You should record the following:
Year and Make, Model, Colour(s)
Vehicle Identification Number
Serial numbers of all special equipment
Special markings – dents, scratches, other damage etc.
Invest in vehicle protection whenever possible
Ignition Kill Switch – Toggle switch spliced into ignition that disables your vehicle.
Fuel Kill Switch – Switch spliced into fuel system wiring that halts fuel supply to your vehicle.
Steering Wheel Lock – Prevents steering wheel from turning.
Gearshift Lock – Locks gearshift in place, disables shifting transmission.
Tire/Wheel Locks – Tool wraps around tire/wheel to immobilize vehicle.
Hood Locks – Prevents access to vehicle engine parts.
Steering Column Collar – Protects steering column from ignition entry.
Electronic Alarms – Alarms with kill switches are the most effective.
Vehicle Tracking Systems – A transmitter in your vehicle enables your vehicle to be tracked electronically.
Police have prepared a video for some tips on how the community can combat this crime.