The more you know about auto crime, the better you can protect your investment in your car and its contents. How much is the contents of your garage worth? How much is your car worth? It is important to consider the cost of time, inconvenience and/or money when considering the alternative in having your car or its contents stolen.
How to Protect Your Vehicle:
- Lock your car and pocket the keys
- Use a visual deterrent such as steering wheel lock
- Completely close car windows, including sunroof when parking
- Be careful with your keys; don’t hide an extra set in the vehicle, thieves know where to look
- Keep your registration and insurance papers secure
- Park with your wheels turned towards the curb
- Back into your driveway, if you have a rear-wheel drive or four wheel drive vehicle
- Engrave expensive accessories
- Remove portable accessories
- Activate your vehicle’s security system
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle
- Park your car in your garage whenever possible
- If you don’t have a garage park in a visible location by a light, or as close to the house as possible
Four main reasons vehicles are stolen!
- To Sell The Vehicle Or Parts. Often thieves will take your car out of the Province or Country. Identification numbers may be altered or removed, ownership certificates forged, parts sold or the vehicle repainted.
- For Transportation. Thieves will use your vehicle to get where they want to go and abandon the vehicle. They may just drive it around to gain
statuswith their friends.
- To Commit Other Crimes. Vehicles are stolen and used in other crimes such as robberies, break and enters, drug dealing or drive by shootings.
- For Vehicle Cloning. Vehicles are stolen, given a fraudulent identification number and then sold to unsuspecting persons who are defrauded of their money. Fraudulent vehicles will be located and seized by police.
Anti Theft Devices
There are numerous anti theft devices on the market. These include, steering wheel locks, automatic engine shut offs, satellite tracking, window etching, and car alarms. Visit ICBC’s website for more information on Anti-Theft devices.
Make sure that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the dashboard identification plate matches that on the vehicle registration form and that it has not been tampered with. If it has been tampered with, it may be a stolen vehicle. Signs to look for:
- Loose rivets
- Scratched numbers
- Mis-matched rivets, screws in place of rivets, tape, glue or paint over the VIN
- Insist on seeing the original Vehicle Registration form not a photocopy
- Ask the seller to provide you with photo identification and check that the name on the registration form is the same as the person standing in front of you. Make sure you have a valid home address, home number, and work number
- Ask to see the service records for the vehicle. Stolen vehicles don’t usually come with maintenance records
- Check the license plate on the vehicle to ensure it matches the registration form
- Check the vehicle make, model, and colour to ensure they match with the registration form
- Check the odometer reading (average is 25,000 km/yr.) Is the wear of the car consistent with the odometer reading?
- Pay by cheque and ask for a receipt
- Be aware, if you buy a stolen vehicle it will be seized by police without any compensation
Ten Tips On How To Avoid Auto Crime
- Keep your spare keys in your wallet, not in your car
- Invest in a good anti-theft device
- Close windows and lock doors. Take your possessions with you
- Avoid parking behind fences or hedges
- At home, light your driveway all night. Elsewhere, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic. After opening an automatic gate to underground parking, watch out for thieves waiting to slip inside. Wait for the gate to close behind you
- Leaving the holder for a GPS unit (or other hand held personal device) visible may alert thieves to the fact that valuables may be stored in your car (e.g., glove box)
- Engrave your stereo and other on-board valuables with your driver's licence number
- Install an anti-theft device to protect your stereo, or buy a unit that's removable and take it with you when you park
- If you see any suspicious person or activity near a vehicle, call the police immediately
How To Report A Stolen Vehicle
If you witness a theft in progress, dial 911 immediately. Otherwise call the Ridge Meadows RCMP non-emergency number at 604-463-6251
The police will require the following information:
- Your full name and date of birth
- Make, model, year and colour
- Licence number
- Vehicle identification number
- Serial numbers of all special equipment
- Information on – dents, scratches or any distinguishing features
- Date modified: