Theft or damage, big or small: report it!

Crime Prevention Safety and Security

Theft or damage, big or small: report it!

Des Ryan, a new board director with the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association, is a retired Toronto police officer. This article written by Des is part of an occasional Cabbagetowner feature on improving safety and security in our neighbourhood.

Let’s say I’ve just walked out to the car I’m sure I had locked up before parking it on the street last night. I notice that the interior has been ransacked but there’s no broken glass or any other sign of a forced entry.

I decide to submit an on-line report to the police, so I go to to use the Citizen Online Report Entry (CORE) system. I scroll through the main page and notice that it says not to report stolen items of less than $500 in value and that I need a serial number of the items, to boot! Clearly, that means I shouldn’t report my car having been pilfered, right?


A car being broken into, whether it was locked or not, resides in a category of its own known as Theft from Vehicle. It can and should be reported, and here’s how to do it.

Scroll down on the CORE reporting page and you’ll find a series of pictures describing various kinds of crimes. Click on the picture that says ‘Theft From Vehicle Under $5,000’. You will be directed to start the report: you’ll need to enter your contact information and details about the crime.

One of the things that I found off-putting when I filed a report after my own car was riffled through a couple of weeks ago was trying to figure out under which category ‘loose change’ falls.

Any money is considered currency for the sake of this report, whether it a briefcase full of large bills or a couple of coins. As a result, when you get to the screen that gives you a list of categories of things that could possibly be taken from a car, click on “Currency” and carry on.

The whole process should take about five minutes at best and the report does not get forwarded to your insurance company unless you notify the company yourself and it requests a report.

Point being: a car was broken into. Something was stolen. It needs to be reported, no matter how small. It is unlikely anyone will be caught, but reporting will bring a greater police presence on a regular, non-urgent basis to patrol our neighbourhood.

If we want our local police officers visible in and around our streets, then we need to let them know that they are needed. The easiest way to do that is to take the five minutes to report and let them know.

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