The Half Moon Bay Community Association, in cooperation with the Half Moon Bay Neighbourhood Watch, is starting an "Anti-Theft from Vehicle Campaign" in order to reduce the number of thefts from vehicles in the community.

Thefts from vehicles are particularly high from June to October, and a good way to reduce these thefts is by reducing opportunities for criminals.

Over the past year Theft from Vehicle, Break and Enter, and Vandalism are the top three crimes in our area. In many instances of Theft from Vehicle it was noted that the car doors were unlocked, and valuables were in plain sight. If you lock your car doors and remove temptation, would-be thieves may just move on to easier pickings.

We are asking all residents to remove their valuables from their vehicle, or secure them out of sight, and place a warning card in the window. These cards let would-be thieves know not to bother searching their car, and also reminding others to take the same precautions. The All Valuables Removed cards are part of an Ottawa Police Service initiative meant to reduce thefts from vehicles throughout Ottawa.

This awareness program has been launched to let you know that you and your vehicle are at risk, and in most cases your car insurance will not cover the items that have been stolen.

Thefts from vehicles are a city-wide trend. From the scenarios below, which vehicle is at risk?

a) An unlocked vehicle with a GPS on the dash.
b) A locked vehicle with a wallet sitting on the passenger seat.
c) A locked vehicle parked on a poorly lit street with minimal pedestrian traffic.
d) They are all at risk.

The right answer is D. Thefts from vehicles are a crime of opportunity and can happen anywhere, and at any time. Therefore it's important to take as many preventative measures as possible to try and safeguard yourself from becoming a victim.

Warning Cards are available by contacting the Half Moon Bay Neighbourhood Watch at .

If you have unfortunately become a victim of a theft from vehicle report it immediately to the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222, ext. 7300. This enables them to track patterns of these crimes, and to better deploy their officers with the hope of resolving the larger problem.

Community safety and security is the responsibility of everyone, not just the police. If you see something, report it. Join the Half Moon Bay Neighbourhood Watch at to help protect our community by being the eyes and ears.