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NWPD reminds residents to be vigilant after recent increase in Theft from Autos

The New Westminster Police are reminding vehicle owners to be extra vigilant after a rash of theft from autos in the Royal City over the last two weeks.

The NWPD Criminal Intelligence Unit noted the surge in thefts, particularly in the Sapperton neighbourhood. Of particular concern is the fact that a great number of the vehicles where items were stolen from were left unlocked with small, easy to conceal items, such as GPS Units and Ipods in plain view. These items are magnets for thieves who can quickly enter a vehicle and easily transport these items to where they will be re-sold for small amounts of cash or traded for drugs.

The NWPD is asking the public to help prevent these thefts by removing such items from their vehicle and making them a less tempting target for thieves looking to make a quick buck.

ICBC also has a number of tips for preventing auto theft and theft from autos:

Top 10 items stolen from vehicles in 2012:

1. Smartphones
2. Personal electronics – tablets, laptops, iPods, GPS
3. Work tools
4. Credit cards and identification
5. Stereo equipment
6. Cash and change
7. Car parts and accessories
8. Garage door openers
9. Sunglasses
10. Keys

How can I protect my vehicle?

1. Use an anti-theft device.
2. Park in well lit areas, near pedestrian traffic.
3. Remove possessions from your vehicle – shopping bags, spare change, electronics, brief cases, etc.
4. Do not keep spare keys to your vehicle in the vehicle. Remove valet keys.
5. Keep your garage door opener out of sight. If parking on the street outside your residence, take the garage door opener with you.
6. Wait for parkade garage doors and gates to close behind you. Thieves could take this opportunity to slip inside.