Giveaway aimed at preventing vehicle theft

ICBC, Hope RCMP and community policing volunteers today introduced the award-winning Operation Lock Up program to help curb the theft of older vehicles in Hope.

Crime Prevention members Jim Proctor and Liz King

ICBC, Hope RCMP and community policing volunteers today introduced the award-winning Operation Lock Up program to help curb the theft of older vehicles in Hope.

In Hope, pre-2001 Honda Civics, Honda Accords and Jeep Cherokees are at a high risk of being stolen. The focus of this initiative is to distribute steering wheel locks, while supplies last, to local residents who own these target vehicles and other pre-2001 vehicles not equipped with an anti-theft device.

“Many older vehicles don’t have anti-theft devices, which makes them prime targets for car thieves,” said Attorney General Barry Penner. “This new program will help deter auto theft within our community and save people the time and trouble associated with vehicle theft.”

Operation Lock Up is part of ICBC’s overall auto crime strategy, which has contributed to a 65 per cent decrease in auto crime in B.C. since 2003. Just last year, Surrey Board of Trade awarded ICBC with the Police and Business Partnership Award for last year’s Operation Lock Up initiative in Surrey and White Rock.

Today, Hope RCMP and crime prevention volunteers will launch Operation Lock Up with a “Lock Out Auto Crime” blitz in Hope neighbourhoods. Registered owners of at-risk vehicles will receive a voucher for a free steering wheel lock, as well as prevention tips on actions they can take to protect their vehicle from theft.

Residents can also get a free steering wheel lock by bringing their vehicle registration to the Hope Crime Prevention Office, 777 Fraser Street.

“Thieves know which vehicles are easiest to steal and that’s why they target older models that are not equipped with an anti-theft device,” said S/Sgt. Dale Kjemhus, Hope RCMP.  “Steering wheel locks are one of the best ways to deter car thieves. We’re continuing to bring down auto theft rates, but older model vehicles continue to be targeted.”

“This is a truly integrated effort that brings the community together to promote safer neighbourhoods,” said Mike Weightman, ICBC road safety coordinator. “Protecting your older model vehicle with a steering wheel lock is the most cost effective way of reducing your risk of being the victim of auto crime.”

For tips on how to protect your vehicle from thieves visit icbc.com.