- Safety Info
- Theft and Vandalism
Theft and VANDALISM
Protect your Bike from Theft
Home Security Tips
Preventing Theft from and of Vehicles
Protect your Bike from Theft
Preventative bike theft measures:
- Record serial numbers (regardless of the value of the bike) so that they can be added to police computer records, helping bikes be identified if located.
- Most bike stores keep serial numbers and information of your purchased bike. Check with your local bike shop to obtain that information if your bike does get stolen.
- Photograph your bike, as a reference, to assist police in identification.
- Never leave your bike unlocked in public. If securing your bike in public, use a high quality lock. However, don't trust locks alone as they can be removed with minimal effort. Take the extra step and remove the seat or a wheel as an extra deterrent.
- Never lock your bike by the front wheel only. Always lock your bike with two quality locks: use a U-lock and a cable lock. By using more than one style of lock it will take thieves two types of tools and twice as much time to steal your bike.
- If storing your bike at your residence, store it in a safe location using a lock or on your property inside a locked area.
- High end mountain bikes are often stolen from the back of a pick-up truck or vehicle in large parking areas, specifically malls. If you are leaving your bikes unattended in the back of a vehicle, lock the bikes to your vehicle. Choose appropriate places to park.
- Secure underground parking lots at apartment/condo complexes are continually targeted by thieves. Avoid leaving your bike on or in your vehicle as thieves find ways into the secure underground parking lots. If you are required to store your bike in a designated area, such as a bike locker, use a high quality lock as well and take the extra step of removing the seat or a wheel.
What is identity theft?
Crooks can create an illusion that they really are you. Once in that position they can transfer money from your accounts, apply for loans and credit cards, redirect mail, buy merchandise, vacations and even homes.
There are many ways someone can access your personal information:
1. Mail Theft
Superboxes and apartment boxes are more of a target than individual mailboxes for mail theft. This may include redirection of mail as well as theft of mail.
- Be vigilant and report suspicious activities around mailboxes.
- Pay attention if you do not receive mail that you had expected.
- Don’t let mail build up in your mailbox.
2. Intercepting Garbage
- Shred all documents containing personal information before discarding.
- Businesses should be especially careful to guard their client’s information.
3. Theft of Wallets and Purses
Your identification is often more valuable than the cash.
- Do not carry unnecessary identification (passports, birth certificate, Social Insurance card).
- Report stolen credit and bank cards.
4. Using Computers to Steal Personal Information
Phishing refers to directing people to web sites which look official but are in fact bogus sites designed to access personal information.
Back doors or Trojans are programs that may be loaded onto your computer, usually by e-mail, that enable other computers to remotely access your data. The threat can be eliminated through proper use of Internet security programs or firewalls, used in conjunction with anti-virus software.
- Only share personal information on trusted and secure web sites. (secure sites begin with https:).
- Do not open suspicious e-mail. Use anti-virus software to filter e-mail.
- Wipe your computer hard drives if you sell or dispose of an old computer.
- Use a firewall or Internet Security Software to prevent hackers from accessing your data.
5. ATM Fraud
Tampering with automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale terminals enables thieves to read your debit or credit card number and personal identification number (PIN).
- Use familiar ATMs.
- ATMs with security cameras (including machines located inside businesses and in business-hours branches) are less likely to attract criminals.
- Be suspicious if your card is "eaten" by the machine and someone approaches you to say the same thing happened to them, then advises you to enter your PIN again.
- Limit your after-hours ATM use.
- Watch for "shoulder surfers" who watch you enter your PIN.
- Keep a watchful eye on your monthly statement, as well as your balance.
How will you know if your identity has been stolen?
- You learn of a credit application that you did not make.
- Regular statements do not appear in the mail.
- A payment is charged to you that you did not authorize.
- A collection agency informs you that you have defaulted on a payment you did not make.
What can you do if you think you are a victim?
Home Security Tips
Tips to help keep your home secure:
- Don’t leave empty boxes or cartons in your carport, yard or driveway. You are advertising the fact you have a brand new flat screen TV, laptop, iPad or other very desirable object to steal.
- Keep your doors locked even though you may just be in your back yard. It doesn’t take long for a thief to slip into and out of your home.
- Close and lock all windows each time you leave your home.
- If you have an alarm, ensure to set it before you leave home.
- Do not keep ladders or tools on the outside of your home. If it can be used to gain entry into your home, keep it locked up and out of sight.
- Always keep your vehicle locked even if it’s parked in your carport or driveway. Don’t be fooled into thinking your vehicle is safe.
- While on vacation arrange for someone to shovel snow/mow the lawn and park in your driveway. It’s ideal to have someone you trust house-sit for you so your home is still lived in while you are away. If this is not possible, make sure your home looks lived in.
- Use timers on indoor lights and tamper-proof, motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. Lighting is the most effective crime prevention tool since criminals do not want to be seen.
- Keep your vacation plans off social networks like Facebook. It is easy to gain access to personal information once it’s entered onto Facebook or another social network.
- Make sure your house number is visible during the day and night. In an emergency you want emergency crews to find your house number as soon as possible.
- Install a door viewer so you know who is at your door before you open it. Know who is there before you open your door and home to a stranger.
- Get to know your neighbours. Knowing who belongs in your building is a great way to protect yourself.
- Join or start a Block Watch group in your building to encourage everyone in the complex to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and share the information with each other and with the police.
- Whether you are involved in Block Watch or not, follow the Golden Rule of community safety: If you see something, say something. Always report suspicious activity to the police.
- Don’t let strangers in your building. Most people will understand that you are not being rude by not letting them in, and your neighbours will thank you for helping to keep the building safe.
- Talk to your building manager or Strata Council about installing security cameras.
- Record serial numbers, keep a log and take pictures of items in your storage locker.
- Check on your storage locker from time to time to make sure items are safe and nothing has been tampered with.
- Avoid leaving anything of value in parked vehicles and always lock vehicle doors.
Preventing Theft from and of Vehicles
- Do not leave any property in your vehicle. Thieves will break in for as little as a few coins or a cigarette lighter. If you absolutely must leave items in your vehicle, secure them in the trunk as many thieves routinely check the glove box and under the seat for hidden items. Typical items stolen from vehicles include purses, wallets, credit cards, GPS units, passports, house keys, cash, clothing and sunglasses.
- Do not leave any personal identification (including drivers licence, financial documents, credit/debit information or any mail that could identify who you are) in an unattended vehicle or you could become a victim of identity theft. Thieves may take only identification and credit cards from purses, but leave the purse behind so the owner may not realize a theft has occurred until much later.
- Invest in a good anti-theft device, particularly a passive immobilizer. Use a steering wheel lock every time you park your vehicle.
- Secure your licence plates with bolts. Criminals commonly steal licence plates and use them to avoid being identified while committing other crimes.
- Do not set the 'Home' function on your GPS device to your home address, but rather to a nearby intersection, thereby not allowing the suspects to know exactly where you live.
- Do not keep your garage door opener in your vehicle along with any identifying information as this could result in directing the suspects directly to your residence.
- If you have a garage, use it all the time when parking at home.
- Always wait for an automatic gate to close behind you when entering or leaving a controlled parking area.
- Do not keep spare keys to your vehicle in the vehicle.
- If you see any suspicious persons or activities near a vehicle, call the police immediately. Report suspicious activity while it is happening. Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle (including licence plate). Do not confront the suspects. Let the police determine if it’s a crime in progress.
- Park in open, visible areas. Avoid parking behind fences and hedges.
- At home, light your driveway at night. Elsewhere, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic.
- Record the serial numbers of all items of value. The serial number is the best way police have of tracking property and returning it to the rightful owner.
- When fueling your vehicle, ensure that you have your vehicle's key with you at all times and lock your vehicle when you go in to pay.
Graffiti is writing or drawings scratched or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. It is a criminal offence. Graffiti creates an impression that a neighbourhood is uncared for and unsafe which in turn can invite more vandalism and crime. Graffiti is also personally damaging if it conveys hatred or discrimination.
- The key to controlling graffiti is rapid and consistent removal. The removal takes away notoriety gained by the graffiti vandal and sends a message that their activities will not be tolerated. In some cases, graffiti may need to be removed from the same spot a number of times in order to discourage the vandal. Graffiti tags left up almost always attract more graffiti and other crime to the area.
- Consider using graffiti resilient paints and products the next time you update the exterior of your home or business.
- Install video surveillance or motion sensor powered sprinklers or lights in vulnerable areas.