April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month: keep in mind what you leave behind

Kamloops City

2021-04-06 08:34 PDT

A collage featuring car keys, an Ipad, loose change, a cellphone, and a Canadian Passport inside a vehicle’s interior. In the centre of the collage are the words, ‘Keep in mind what you leave behind: April is auto crime enforcement month.

Click to view larger image of collage.

A used paper mask or empty water bottle may seem of little value to most, but to some, they may be worth breaking into a car for.

The damaged caused by breaking into a vehicle can far outweigh the value of an item stolen from it, which is why this April, the Kamloops RCMP Detachment is helping spread the message to keep in mind what you leave behind throughout Auto Crime Enforcement Month.

When it comes to ensuring your valuables are not visible inside a vehicle, it’s important to keep in mind that something you may think of as having no value, such as a non-medical mask or empty pop can, might be exactly what someone else is looking for as they’re walking by and looking into your vehicle, said Corporal Dana Napier of the Crime Prevention Unit.

During Auto Crime Enforcement Month, the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT), Government of BC, and ICBC, are asking vehicle owners to add auto crime safety precautions to their list regular practices.

There are many ways you can protect yourselves and your vehicles from becoming a target of auto crime. The theme this year - keep in mind, what you leave behind - is a reminder to think about how you leave your vehicle when you park it.

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Inspector Rob Vermeulen, Officer in Charge of IMPACT, noted a decrease in both theft of vehicles (by 20.6 per cent) and theft from vehicles (by 24.2 per cent) in 2020, likely largely a result of the pandemic. Many places where people would normally visit and park their cars were closed, so there were far less opportunities for these auto crimes to occur.

The same decrease has been noted in Kamloops, with theft of motor vehicle files decreasing by nine per cent, and theft from motor vehicle reports dropping 27 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.
As we move forward this year and restrictions begin to ease, we want to make sure that vehicle owners keep up their safety routines, and avoid becoming a victim of auto crime, added Inspector Vermeulen.

Auto crime is not only an upsetting and inconvenient experience for our customers, but also adds pressure on claims costs, said Lindsay Matthews, ICBC Vice President Public Affairs and Driver Licensing. Thieves are adapting and changing their strategies to get into your car or truck, so don’t leave your keys unguarded and lock your vehicle at all times. Taking action to prevent auto crime not only helps to control claims costs, but also helps make our communities and roads safer.

For more information on IMPACT, prevention tips, and the list of Wanted Auto Crime Offenders in BC, please visit www.baitcar.com


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