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Bait Car program celebrates 10th anniversary

March 8, 2012

Hundreds of car thieves who have been arrested in Bait Cars probably won't be joining the police and public in celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Bait Car Program in British Columbia.

The first Bait Car Program was launched in 2002 by the Vancouver Police Department in response to a growing auto theft problem at the time. When auto theft statistics peaked in 2003, the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) was formed and followed suit, developing an even larger program to cover the entire province. In addition to being deployed on the streets of your city or town, Bait Cars have worked around the Pacific National Exhibition, at the World Police and Fire Games and even kept your vehicles and belongings safe when you parked to attend an event at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Cars and trucks were the first 'bait' to hit the streets, but over the years the bait fleet has been expanded to include ATV's, snowmobiles, various watercraft, motorcycles and manufactured trailers.

Today, IMPACT has expanded the Bait fleet even further with the announcement of the addition of commercial vehicles which includes construction equipment and working commercial vans. These latest additions are in response to an ongoing commercial vehicle theft problem and should reduce the victimization of people who rely on these vehicles for their livelihood. "Our Bait Car Program is a recognized leader among jurisdictions, and I am very proud of the dramatic decline in auto crime we've achieved over the past ten years. We've actually caught 77 of the 80 most wanted car thieves in that time," said Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond. "Adding commercial vehicles to the fleet is our latest strategy to keep current with auto crime trends and to protect not just B.C. families' property but also their livelihood."

ICBC provides funding for IMPACT through the Province of B.C.'s Police Services Division. With the continued generous support from ICBC, police and the Province of B.C., the Bait Car strategy, in part, has had a dramatic effect on auto crime rates here in our province. "ICBC invests in auto crime prevention because it's the right thing to do - safer roads and less crime help make our communities safer," said Fiona Temple, ICBC director road safety. "Every theft we prevent also prevents someone from being a victim of crime. Anyone who has been victimized by a car thief knows too well that it is much more than an inconvenience." Auto theft has been reduced 71% over the past eight years and thefts from vehicles have been reduced 64% over that same eight year period. Our message has been consistently clear - 'Steal a Bait Car - Go to Jail'.

It's hard to believe that ten short years ago the Bait Car program was a diamond in the rough, and today we are celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the largest Bait Car Program in the world!

Media contact

Sergeant Gord Elias, IMPACT
604- 598-4456