Auto crime driven down

About 30 per cent fewer vehicles were stolen last year in Victoria, compared to 2009, according to ICBC.

The Crown corporation’s statistics, which looked specifically at the City of Victoria’s auto crime, shows 170 vehicles were stolen in 2010. That number in 2009 was 240.

According to ICBC, the bait car program, initiated in 2003, has contributed to a 40 per cent decrease in thefts of vehicles in Victoria proper. The number of those crimes fluctuated in Victoria, however, from 290 reported in 2003, to a high of 380 in 2006.

For years, Victoria police have helped organize a campaign that reminds people to lock their vehicles and keep valuables out of sight to prevent break-ins and thefts.

“We have our crime prevention volunteers that go out and do the Lock It or Lose It program. They speak to groups about home security, vehicle security,” said Sgt. Grant Hamilton. “A lot of it has to do with education.”

Vehicles with immobilizers have also helped deter thefts, ICBC said in a press release.

“Our customers have also been doing their part in the fight against auto crime. We want to thank the 60 per cent of B.C. drivers who have immobilizers in their vehicles – which reduces the chance of theft by at least 80 per cent.”

ecardone@vicnews.com