New Westminster – After noticing a recent increase in vehicle thefts, the NWPD will be increasing some of its enforcement efforts and targeting auto thieves.
Between January 1st and June 30th of this year there were 120 vehicles reported stolen in New Westminster, in addition to 53 reports of attempted thefts of vehicles. During this same six month period in 2013 there were 71 reported vehicle thefts and 19 reported attempts.
“We have been having excellent success lowering our crime rates in recent years,” said Chief Constable Dave Jones. “Quite simply, we are not going to accept this kind of bump in our auto theft rates – we are going to be aggressive and target those responsible.”
Included are the following measures:
- Increased surveillance of auto theft suspects in New Westminster.
- Increased forensic processing of recovered stolen vehicles, and increased focus on following up on the forensic hits that result (fingerprints, DNA etc).
- Increased compliance checks for prolific offenders on court ordered conditions.
- Liaising with the Provincial auto theft unit (IMPACT) for increased enforcement in the New Westminster area.
“While increased enforcement and targeting of prolific offenders can be used to combat this problem, the public can also play a significant role in reducing auto theft by following certain vehicle theft prevention tips,” said Staff-Sergeant Paul Hyland.
Tips for protecting vehicles from theft (courtesy of ICBC):
- Use an anti-theft device – electronic immobilizers are the best protection. They’re hard wired into vehicles and shut down the starter, ignition and/or fuel system. They require a special key or electronic device to start the engine, and usually attach to your key ring.
- Steering wheel locks are a good visual deterrent for auto thieves, however they offer a lower form of protection than immobilizers.
- Don’t keep spare keys or valet keys in your vehicle
- Where possible, park vehicles in secure areas, or if you have to park on the street, park in well-lit areas, near pedestrian traffic.
- If parking on the street, take your garage door opener with you.
- When entering a parking garage, wait for the garage security gate to close behind you, or thieves could take this opportunity to get inside.
NWPD Crime Analysts have also noted the following vehicle types as the ones most likely to be stolen in the New Westminster area, which is similar to what ICBC has observed in their statistics in the Lower Mainland. Owners of these vehicles are asked to be extra vigilant:
- Honda Civics (1990-1999 models)
- Ford F350 Trucks (2000-2009 models)
- Honda Accords (1990-1999 models)
- Dodge Caravans (1990 -1999 models)