April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month 2018: "Lock it or Looted"
March 29, 2018
April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month. This year the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT), the Province of British Columbia, and ICBC are asking vehicle owners to avoid tempting criminals. The theme of "Lock it or Looted" suggests that if owners are not locking their vehicle doors, they are susceptible to crimes of opportunity.
The statistics from the past year show that in British Columbia the number of thefts from vehicles dropped by less than a percent due to an increase in the number of thefts from vehicles in parts of the province outside the Lower Mainland.
What thieves are looking for is opportunity. Vehicle owners are being cautioned to not leave themselves vulnerable to victimization.
Top 10 most common items stolen from vehicles:
Personal electronics - tablets, laptops, GPS
Identification and documents
Cash and change
Car parts and accessories
Garage door openers
"In British Columbia, we need to see thefts from vehicles drop more significantly in order to say we are having an impact on deterring auto crime," says Insp. MacDonald of IMPACT. "The hard work of our team at IMPACT and the diligence of all officers around the province has gone a long way towards educating the public and making vehicle owners aware of how they can help bring these statistics down."
"The police, the Province, ICBC, the IMPACT team, and B.C.'s Bait Car program continue to work around the clock to take down auto thieves and help put them behind bars—and these innovative efforts continue to make our roads and communities safer," says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. "But, we must all remain vigilant, and Auto Crime Enforcement month is an excellent opportunity to remind vehicle owners of the many ways they can protect their automobiles and keep their personal property safe. Everyone has a role to play to make it harder for auto thieves and to ensure there are fewer victims of auto crime."
"Auto crime is not only a distressing and troublesome experience for our customers, but also adds pressure on claims costs," says Steve Crombie, Vice President responsible for Road Safety at ICBC. "Last year stolen vehicle claims in B.C. cost approximately $50 million and vehicle break-in claims cost another $18 million. Taking thoughtful actions to prevent auto crime not only helps to control claims costs, but will help to make our communities and roads safer."
In order to keep vehicles safe, it requires a conscious effort by the owners. Some helpful tips include:
Do not leave your vehicle running with the keys in the ignition.
Park in a locked, secure garage, or a well-lit, high-traffic area.
Remove unsecured possessions from your vehicle. Anything that might tempt a thief.
Install an alarm system.
Always lock your vehicle.
More safety tips can be found here: http://www.baitcar.com/top-ten/ways-protect-vehicle-belongings. For more information and to see the Top 10 Auto Crime Offenders, please visit: baitcar.com.
Inspector Brian MacDonald
Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT)