(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service Organized Auto Theft Section would like to advise Ottawa residents that there are organized and sophisticated thieves that have the ability to steal brand new/newer model Toyota/Lexus SUV’s and trucks. Thieves have stolen vehicles out of registered owner’s laneways undetected.

“You may recall that we saw a similar modus operandi in the summer of 2014, and two individuals were charged and are in jail,” said Staff Sergeant Stephanie Burns, Organized Auto Theft Section.

Consider the following tips to protect your vehicle:
•       Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or blocking it with a second vehicle.
•       Consider installing an after marker anti-theft device.
•       Be vigilant that no one has tampered with the door locks mechanisms.
•       Consider installing a club.
•       If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys or your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return later to steal it.
•       The onus is on the registered owner of a vehicle to ensure that the person they let drive their vehicle has a valid driver’s license.  As such, request to see their driver’s license prior to allowing them to test drive your vehicle. This gives you an opportunity to note the person’s identity.  Further to that, note the license plate and vehicle description of any individuals who attend your home to enquire about a car for sale.
•       Finally, good old fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent.  Call 911 to report any suspicious activity; be vigilant.

More safety tips are available at http://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/about-us/organized-auto-theft.asp