Public asked to protect their vehicles

Car thefts and thefts from vehicles have plagued the region for weeks now, with police calling for the public’s help in securing their valuables.

Car thefts and thefts from vehicles have plagued the region for weeks now, with police calling for the public’s help in securing their valuables.

• Park in well lit areas with plenty of pedestrian traffic.

• If you routinely park in your driveway and your vehicle is rear-wheel drive back into your driveway.  Conversely, if your vehicle is front-wheel drive pull forward into your driveway, this males towing difficult.  If you have a garage, use it.

• Items that are commonly stolen from vehicles include Ipod’s, wallets, loose change, GPS units, DVD’s/CD’s, and garage door openers.

•  Never hide a second set of keys in or on your vehicle, thieves know all the hiding places.

The police are finding that thieves are making attempts to break in to or steal vehicles at all times of the day.  For most thieves it is a crime of opportunity, if your vehicle is accessible or you have items that are visible then consider yourself a target

More tips you can use to avoid being the victim of car theft:

• Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked.  Put them in the trunk out of sight;

•  Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible;

• Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes.  These devices will deter some criminals;

•  Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently stolen model vehicles;

•  Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle;

•  Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you.  If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report; and,

• Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory.  Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask.  The best choice are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can’t be started or driven.

If your vehicle is stolen, report it to the police immediately.  Police are asking anyone with information on property crime related offences to call their local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

For more information on preventing auto crime visit www.icbc.com.