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VIDEO: Some real advice on how to protect yourself from car thieves

A Toronto cop took a lot of heat this week for offering head-scratching advice to vehicle owners. On our podcast, a former OPP officer provides some less controversial tips on how to thwart car thieves

A Toronto police officer took a lot of heat this week for doling out some head-scratching advice to car owners.

Even Premier Doug Ford weighed in on the cop's comment, saying he had to be "picked off the floor" when he heard about the story.

Because an increasing number of car thieves are breaking into people's homes to swipe their fobs — and in some cases, getting violent — Const. Marco Ricciardi suggested at a recent community meeting that people should just leave their fob inside their front entrance, essentially on a silver platter. 

“To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your fobs by your front door," he said. "Because they’re breaking into your homes to steal your car. They don’t want anything else. A lot of them that they’re arresting have guns on them. And they’re not toy guns. They’re real guns. They’re loaded."

To be fair, the officer's advice wasn't totally outrageous. Simply put, he's saying that if you leave your fob in your front entrance, you're a lot less likely to get hurt if a would-be thief does manage to get inside your house.

“It was well-meaning, and for context, was in response to the increasing number of violent home invasions and break-and-enters related to vehicle thefts,” a police spokesperson later told the Toronto Sun. “Police are concerned about the escalation in violence, whether it be home invasions or carjackings, and have always advised the public to prioritize their safety over their vehicle.”

Looking for advice that's maybe a bit more practical? Bryan Gast has you covered.

A former OPP officer who is now vice-president of investigative services at Équité Association, Gast was a recent guest on Village Media's Inside the Village podcast. He offered plenty of tips for car owners hoping to lower their risk of being targeted by thieves.

Check out the full episode HERE.

Hosted by Scott Sexsmith and Michael Friscolanti, the Editor-in-Chief of Village Media, Inside the Village is a news and current affairs podcast that provides a weekly window into some of the best local journalism from across our chain of Ontario newsrooms. Produced by Derek Turner, the program also explores bigger-picture issues that impact people across the province.

Every episode is available HERE. If you prefer the audio version, it is available wherever you find your favourite podcasts.

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