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One car broken into every hour – ICBC urging shoppers to keep their vehicles free of valuables

December 8, 2017

With malls filled with holiday shoppers, parking lots and unattended vehicles become alluring targets for thieves. About 10,000 vehicle break-ins were reported across the province last year. ICBC is reminding drivers that they can help prevent auto crime from happening to them over the holidays by keeping their vehicle free of valuables – including those holiday parcels.

Tips for preventing auto crime

  • Remove valuables from your vehicle. Holiday gifts, shopping bags, electronics and even loose change can all tempt a thief. Shoppers should also try to avoid making multiple trips back to their vehicle to drop off their bags as thieves may be watching.

  • Park in secure, well-lit areas. Always lock your doors and close the windows and sunroof, even if you're only away from your vehicle for a few minutes.

  • Treat your keys like cash. It's easy to forget about keys in a coat pocket or gym locker, but you should never leave your keys unattended in a public place.

  • Use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock. Additional anti-theft devices can help secure your vehicle, particularly if it was manufactured before 2007.

Drivers should be aware that the contents of their vehicle aren't covered by insurance. However, if a vehicle has been damaged as a result of theft, ICBC customers that have Comprehensive or Specified Perils coverage can file a claim. The average cost of a vehicle break-in claim is approximately $1,200*.


In 2016, 10,000 vehicle break-ins across the province were reported to ICBC.

  • 8,600 vehicle break-ins were reported in the Lower Mainland.

  • 410 vehicle break-ins were reported on Vancouver Island.

  • 640 vehicle break-ins were reported in the Southern Interior.

  • 180 vehicle break-ins were reported in the North Central region.

*Based on average cost of vehicle break-ins reported to ICBC from 2012-2016

Joanna Linsangan