When it comes to auto crime, thieves are always looking for any opportunity to steal or break into your vehicle. Leaving your keys or personal items, such as smartphones, wallet, laptops, and even Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, can increase the risk of a break-in.
According to polices statistics, the rate of vehicle theft has decreased last year, but the rate of vehicle break-ins has increased by almost 11 per cent. This means that thieves are not only interested in your vehicle, but also what is within it. Any personal items left in your vehicle, then, can make the vehicle appear more appealing for thieves to break into.
In response to the raise of auto crime, the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) introduced the Bait Car program. As the name itself suggests, the program utilizes a vehicle owned by the police, with the intention of having the vehicle stolen. Once the car is stolen, the police will use live-feed and GPS technology to monitor thieves’ activities in real-time and apprehend those who have stolen the vehicle. This program was aimed to deter and to help police combat auto crime.
While efforts to combat auto crime and vehicle theft are being made by ICBC in partnership with law enforcement and community agencies, it is still important for you to secure your own vehicle by ensuring that you are not leaving any personal items. To help safeguard your vehicle from this type of theft, ICBC has compiled various tips and suggestions. They encourage the use of steering wheel locks, electronic immobilizers, and vehicle alarms as deterrence devices. When possible, park in areas that are well-lit and are near pedestrian traffic. If you are leaving or entering a gated parkade, wait for the garage door to completely close behind you before driving away. Keeping your garage door remote out of sight, in a concealed place, or with you ensures that thieves will not have an opportunity to sneak into the parkade. Before leaving your vehicle, remove any personal or valuable items, lock doors, and close windows. Lastly, keep your keys in a safe place at all times. For more information on auto crime prevention, please visit ICBC’s website (http://www.icbc.com/road-safety/prevent-autocrime/Pages/Default.aspx).