OTTAWA -- An alert off-duty officer helped Ottawa Police hit the brakes on an auto theft in the east end and arrest five Montreal men.

The officer noticed a suspicious vehicle in front of a house near Navan Road and Orleans Boulevard at approximately 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. The officer also noticed a newer Lexus SUV in the driveway.

Police say canine officers in the area responded to the call along with frontline officers, conducting a traffic stop with the suspicious vehicle.

"Five men were arrested after police recovered key fobs, computers and electronic devices consistent with vehicle thefts," said police.

The five Montreal men, ranging in age from 15 to 19, are charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of an automobile master key.

Police remind residents to take precautions in order to protect the vehicle.

"Vehicle thefts happen fast, oftentimes overnight, leaving the owner unaware until hours later," said police in a statement on Wednesday.

Police say any Lexus/Toyota SUV owners that notice new or fresh damage to the driver's side door handle or see someone taking photos of their dashboard Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), should contact police.