There are a number of things you can do to prevent auto crime. Below you will find some tips on what you can do to prevent becoming a victim of theft from auto.
- Keep your spare keys in your wallet, not in your car.
- Invest in a good anti-theft device.
- Close windows and lock doors. Take your possessions with you.
- Never leave valuables in your car (especially visible and on your seat) as they provide too much temptation for potential thieves.
- Never leave your car keys unattended (e.g. in a gym locker); try and keep your keys with you at all times.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended while it warms up – even for
just for a minute.
- Don’t leave the holder for your GPS unit (or other hand held devices) visible as it may alert thieves that valuables may be stored in your car (e.g., glove box).
- At home, install motion sensor lights, light your driveway all night or park in a well-lit area near a pedestrian traffic area.
- After opening an automatic gate to underground parking, watch out for thieves waiting to slip inside. Wait for the gate to close behind you.
- Avoid parking behind fences or hedges.
- Ensure you don’t “pillow” your insurance decal (valtag) by layering year after year. It allows a criminal to easily remove the stack with a straight razor which then gets sold to an uninsured driver.
- If you see any suspicious person or activity near a vehicle, call the police immediately.
Anti Theft Devices
There are numerous anti-theft devices on the market. These include, steering wheel locks, automatic engine shut offs, satellite tracking, window etching, and car alarms.
For a complete review of anti-theft devices, visit www.icbc.com.
Theft From Auto Decals
If you are part of the Block Watch program, the Block Watch Society offers theft from auto decals for our members. If you are a participant on a Block Watch team/group, speak to your Captain about obtaining these decals from your Block Watch Office.
To see how these decals can be used, check out the video below brought to you by the Vancouver Police Department’s Block Watch Program.
IMPACT Auto Crime
The Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) consists of eighteen specialized police auto theft investigators currently from the RCMP, Vancouver PD, New Westminster PD, Delta PD and Metro Vancouver Transit Police. The mandate of IMPACT is to develop innovative strategies to reduce auto crime in British Columbia. They are an excellent resource for ongoing social media messaging for you to distribute/share with your Block Watch groups.
Auto Crime Prevention
We are asking vehicle owners to take a moment to think about how they can help prevent auto crime. T.H.I.N.K. About Auto Crime:
T – Take your valuables, or
H – Hide valuables out of plain sight
I – Immobilize your vehicle
N – Never idle unattended
K – Key Security (keep track of your keys)
The T.H.I.N.K. acronym reminds vehicle owners of the proactive ways they can keep their vehicles safe and protect their vehicles from becoming crimes of opportunity.
The 9PM Routine
IMPACT encourages drivers to combat preventable thefts with proactive measures like the ‘9 pm Routine’. We ask vehicle owners to check on their vehicle each night at 9pm to ensure it is safe, secure and all measures are made to avoid being a victim of auto crime. Criminals continue to target vehicles for items like: smartphones, personal electronics, sunglasses and cash, but there is always a larger concern with items that have far reaching effects. For example, garage door openers, stolen from a vehicle may be used to gain entry to your home at a later date. Personal items and documents left behind can lead to identity theft.
Removing all valuables from your vehicle while leaving nothing in plain sight can prevent a potential thief from targeting your vehicle. If they walk past your vehicle and see nothing to target, they are more than likely to move past it.
IMPACT operates and manages the Bait Car Program for the Greater Vancouver area, Vancouver Island, the BC Interior, and the North – it is now the largest Bait Car fleet in North America. The Vancouver Police Department operates their own bait car program for the actual City of Vancouver.
Bait Cars are operational in cities and communities all across British Columbia. Bait Cars are parked in areas with rising auto crime trends in an effort to identify auto crime offenders on camera. They’re also equipped with an immobilizer that can disable the vehicle remotely, catching thieves in the act.
Auto Crime Statistics
The statistics from 2019 show a 0.2 per cent increase in theft from auto across British Columbia with more significant increases outside of Metro Vancouver. While auto theft across British Columbia decreased by 3.2 per cent in 2019, we still have an opportunity to reduce crime.
Follow IMPACT Auto Crime on social media
Baitcar.com – for auto crime prevention as well as the latest Bait Car news and videos.