VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Auto thefts were down once again in BC in 2016, but pickup trucks remain a prime target, according to data from RCMP and ICBC.
Half of the top 10 most popular stolen vehicles in BC were pickups, the most popular of which was the Ford F Series.
“We know that vehicles are stolen to commit other crimes. Pickup trucks provide the thief a way of transporting goods taken during a break-and-enter and they’ve been used by thieves to escape by ramming police cars,” says Inspector Brian MacDonald, officer in charge of the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team.
He adds most of the stolen pickups pre-date 2007, when immobilizer systems became mandatory.
Overall, thefts were down 4.8 per cent in 2016 compared with the previous year, with around 13,000 vehicles stolen across the province. Thefts cost ICBC customers $52 million.
Despite the downward trend in car thefts, it seems drivers are forgetting to protect what’s inside their cars. Thefts of property inside vehicles such as stereos, cell phones and other valuables were up 10.7 per cent, costing ICBC customers $19 million.
“Over 1,000 vehicles are broken into every single week in the province. The vast majority of break-ins are the result of valuables being easily visible from outside the car,” MacDonald says.
As part of IMPACT’s Auto Crime Enforcement month in April, RCMP encourages drivers to remove all valuables from their car when they aren’t driving, park in a locked garage when possible, avoid leaving keys in vehicles or doors unlocked, and install alarm systems and anti-theft devices.