April is Auto Crime Prevention Month in B.C. and the Community Policing section of the Prince George RCMP has once again partnered with the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) to help vehicle owners prevent their vehicles from being stolen.
For the month of April or until supplies last, the detachment’s crime prevention unit, located at 455 Victoria Street, will be offering a steering wheel lock to individuals who present their driver’s licence and insurance documents showing that they drive an older model vehicle without an anti-theft system. Preference will be given to those persons who own a vehicle specifically targeted for theft in our community, which includes Ford, GMC/Chevrolet, and Dodge pickup trucks more than eight years old.
“This program was a big success last December when we gave away 108 steering wheel locks in less than two weeks,” said Cpl. Craig Douglass, spokesperson for the Prince George RCMP. “Our hope is that everyone in the community will take extra precautions to secure their vehicles and make sure they do not get stolen.”
Auto Crime Prevention Month does not just focus on stolen vehicles, but also on theft from vehicles. This is when owners leave valuables in their vehicles and the items get stolen. Most often, doors are left unlocked.
“Last year, police reported more than 56,500 vehicle break-ins and over 11,600 vehicle thefts in B.C.,” said Doug MacDonald, local ICBC road safety coordinator. “That’s why it’s important to remove and valuables from your vehicle and lock your doors and windows no matter how quickly you expect to return. We can all do our part to help lock out auto crime.”
In Prince George, auto theft has gone up 43 per cent from 2016 to 2017, while theft from vehicles increased 17 per cent during the same period.
For more information on auto theft prevention, go to www.princegeorge.rcmp.ca or www.icbc.com. For more information about this initiative, contact the Prince George Community Policing Office by calling (250)561-3366 or dropping by the office located at 455 Victoria Street, Prince George.