The Ottawa Police Department announced a new safety notice citizens may start to see on vehicles left running unattended and unlocked with keys in the ignition. The new notices partner with existing notices about unlocked vehicles and are usually distributed in areas experiencing increased thefts.
A total of 101 vehicles were stolen in Ottawa from 2017 to the end of 2019. Almost all of the motor vehicles stolen were unlocked with keys left in the vehicle.
“Often officers hear from citizens that they never used to have to lock their vehicle or home in Ottawa and that is just not the case," Ottawa Police Chief Adam Weingartner said. "I am in my 25th year of service to the department and have taken vehicle thefts and thefts from unlocked motor vehicles since my first day — my first call in training was a break in to an unlocked motor vehicle in a city parking lot in November 1995. We hope people will take advantage of technology available to them and lock cars with key fobs, park in well-lit areas and do not keep valuables in vehicles. As always, report suspicious activity to 911.”