New Westminster Police Department has reported a significant increase in vehicle thefts and will be ramping up its enforcement efforts that target auto thieves.
This year to date, from January 1 to June 30, there have been 120 vehicles reported or stolen in New Westminster, in addition to 53 reports of attempted thefts of vehicles.
In contrast, during the 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.”
The police force will be increasing the level of their measures on surveillance of auto theft suspects, forensic processing of recovered stolen vehicles, compliance checks for prolific offenders on court conditions, and liaising with the provincial auto theft unit.
“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 (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.
Vehicles most likely to be stolen in New Westminster
- Honda Civics (1990-1999 models)
- Ford F350 Trucks (2000-2009 models)
- Honda Accords (1990-1999 models)
- Dodge Caravans (1990 -1999 models)
Source: NWPD | Featured Image: Grainger Honda via Flickr