Shoppers Get Free Safety Advice

By Kevin Masterman
Kevin Masterman

Kevin Masterman

Media & Communications Coordinator

33 Division

Fairview Mall shoppers got a freebie and a few crime prevention tips during crime prevention week.

Crime Prevention Officer Joel Roberts was joined by police and Auxiliary officers as well as volunteers handing out faraday pouches and delivering messages about how to protect their cars from theft and themselves from carjacking during the province’s week to focus on personal safety.

“We want everyone to take steps to protect themselves from theft and be safe,” Roberts said, noting the mall is another place where people can take steps to prevent auto theft by locking car doors and being aware of their surroundings. “One thing they may not know, could be difference in preventing a crime.”

The faraday bags, donated as part of a Toronto Crime Stoppers initiative, are used to block signals from key fobs that thieves can use to steal a car. When a driver returns home, they should place their key fob in the pouch.

“There are a lot of healthy habits that you can incorporate in your life like using a faraday pouch to help prevent crimes,” Roberts said. “There is a never a guarantee or full-proof way to prevent crime but being aware of strategies is important.”

Some tips to stay safe:

  • Lock your vehicle

  • Park in a garage if possible

  • Use a Faraday bag or box to store your keys

  • Consider using anti-theft tools: a steering wheel locking device; mobile tracking tags; on-board diagnostic port lock or an ignition kill switch

  • Park in well-lit areas

  • When parking, point wheels toward the curb to make vehicle harder to tow

  • Cover your VIN on the dashboard

  • Never leave valuables in view

CF Fairview Mall Security Manager Keith Melo said they continuously work with the police, tenants and the community to create a safe space.

“At Cadillac Fairview one of our values is collaboration with the community – it’s key to making the community safer,” he said, noting they collaborate often with 33 Division and welcome Neighbourhood Community Officers into the mall.


Auxiliary officer speaking to a person
Auxiliary Officer Michael Brennan hands out faraday pouches at the Fairview Mall Photo: Kevin Masterman


Auxiliary Officer Michael Brennan said he gets a great reaction from people when discussing crime prevention strategies whether it be in a neighbourhood where a break-in has occurred or with a pharmacy on how to prevent robberies.

“We are just reinforcing the idea of being aware that these crimes exist and to take some reasonable steps to prevent them,” said Brennan, noting Auxiliary Officers also patrol the mall parking lot to discourage theft. “It’s not about making people fearful but giving them some tactics.” 

For Roberts and his fellow Crime Prevention Officers, the goal is to prevent victimization.

“It’s a terrible feeling being a victim of a crime, it stays with you – personally I have had my car stolen,” said Roberts.

He encouraged people to be aware of their surroundings but not to intervene if there is a threat to them, such as a carjacking.

“You can take steps to be safe but you should never try to resist, make sure you and your loved ones are safe and call police,” Roberts said.


Carjacking prevention tips

When walking to your car:

  • Be alert to activity around your car

  • Stay off your cellphone

  • Have key/fob in your hand

  • Keep walking if someone loitering by your car

When you are in your car:

  • Lock your doors

  • When stopping, leave enough space to see rear tires of next car

  • Drive on if someone loitering near your home

Getting out of your car:

  • Reverse into spots to make it easier to drive away

  • Park in well-lit areas

  • Never leave valuables in plain view

  • Look around before getting out of your car

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