A large percentage of vehicle thefts are committed by a small number of offenders who steal vehicles for a variety of reasons, most commonly:
- To commit other crimes like robberies, break and enters, thefts from vehicles, or drug dealing.
- For transportation to get around or gain
statusfrom their peers.
- To sell the vehicle or parts fraudulently.
The best way to protect your vehicle from being stolen is to lock it, be vigilant with extra vehicle keys, and use an anti-theft device.
- Always lock your vehicle. Never leave a running car unlocked to
warm upas some thieves specifically look for this opportunity on chilly mornings.
- Protect extra vehicle keys. Ensure you remove the
valetkey that some models of cars leave in the owner’s manual.
- Electronic engine immobilizers offer the highest level of protection against auto theft. All new model vehicles in Canada come equipped with them.
- Vehicle alarms and steering wheel locks provide extra deterrents for thieves.
- Park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic or inside a secure garage.
Theft from Vehicles
Theft from vehicles are the top reported property crime in Surrey. Ensure your vehicle is not a target:
- Remove electronics and valuables including smartphones, GPS and keys. Put anything in the trunk that could tempt a thief, even loose change or empty shopping bags.
- Do not leave garage door openers in vehicles. Thieves will use them to gain access to the contents of your garage or your home.
- Ensure windows and sunroof are completely closed and doors are locked.
- Keep registration and insurance papers locked in the glove box.
- Have your vehicle’s catalytic converter etched with the vehicle identification number at a participating automotive business as part of the
If your vehicle has been stolen or broken into in Surrey, call Surrey RCMP non-emergency to report it at 604-599-0502. If you witness a theft in progress, stay back and call 9-1-1.
If you are purchasing a vehicle, make sure the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the dashboard identification plate matches the number on the vehicle registration form and that it has not been tampered with. Tampered VINs are often seen in stolen vehicles. Other potential signs of a stolen vehicle include loose or mismatched rivets, screws in place of rivets, scratched numbers, and tape, glue or paint over the VIN. Be aware – if you buy a stolen vehicle, it will be seized by police without any compensation.
Tips to avoid purchasing a stolen vehicle
- 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 and phone number for the seller.
- Ask to see the service records for the vehicle. Stolen vehicles don’t usually come with maintenance records.
- Check the licence plate, make, model and colour of the vehicle to ensure they match the registration form.
- Check the odometer reading (average is 25,000 km/year). Is the wear of the car consistent with the odometer reading?
- Pay by cheque or bank draft and ask for a receipt.
Crime Maps & Stats
Sign up for our Crime Stats enewsletter – you will receive monthly crime maps of auto thefts in your area as well as quarterly crime statistics.
- Date modified: