ICBC and Chilliwack RCMP help residents protect their vehicles from auto crime
Today, ICBC, Chilliwack RCMP and crime prevention volunteers teamed up to launch the Operation Lock Up program to help residents protect their older model vehicles from being stolen by providing them with free steering wheel locks.
Since 2003, police enforcement and increased customer awareness plus legislation requiring immobilizers in all new vehicles, has led to a significant reduction in overall auto crime in B.C. However, vehicle thefts increased by eight per cent and break-ins rose by 10 per cent in Chilliwack in 2012 compared to 2011.
“Being a victim of auto crime is much more than an inconvenience, it can have a significant impact on families and the safety of our communities,” said Mary Polak, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The safety of B.C. families is our top priority. ICBC’s Operation Lock Up is a great initiative that reminds drivers to be proactive in protecting themselves from auto crime.”
“Operation Lock Up gives drivers in Chilliwack the tools they need to fight back against auto theft and crime, and prevent car thieves from targeting their vehicles,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “Operation Lock Up and B.C.’s other anti-auto theft programs have been extremely successful over the last decade, with a 73 per cent reduction in auto theft across the province. I encourage anyone who qualifies to take advantage of this program.”
The most common vehicles targeted by thieves in Chilliwack have been pre-2001 Honda Civics and pre-2008 Ford F-series pickup trucks. Community police volunteers will provide free steering wheel locks, while supplies last, to local residents who own these targeted vehicles and other pre-2001 vehicles not equipped with an immobilizer. Local Chilliwack residents can obtain a steering wheel lock by bringing their vehicle registration to:
Chilliwack Community Policing Services, 45877 Wellington Avenue, Chilliwack 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday
“We want to help protect our customers in Chilliwack who own older vehicles, as these vehicles are more at risk of being stolen,” said Mike Weightman, ICBC road safety coordinator for Chilliwack. “We’re proud of this award-winning initiative – less auto crime creates safer communities and helps us keep our rates as low as possible.”
“RCMP have been told by thieves that if you leave your valuables in plain view, they will steal them,” said Inspector Tim Bain, Chilliwack RCMP. “Don’t give thieves an opportunity. Always lock your doors and remove all valuables from your vehicle.”
In addition to using an anti-theft device, you can protect yourself from auto crime by parking in secure, well lit areas, hiding your garage door opener from sight and keeping your keys in a safe place. For more tips on how to protect your vehicle from thieves, visit icbc.com.
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