Thieves deterred by bait car program, says ICBC

Thieves are thinking twice about stealing cars in the Tri-Cities, according to the latest ICBC statistics, which show a dramatic decrease in auto theft since the introduction of the bait car program.

Figures released by the insurance corporation show that since 2003, the number of stolen vehicles has dropped 81% in Coquitlam, 75% in Port Coquitlam and 80% in Port Moody.

There were also significant reductions in 2010, with Coquitlam showing a 33% drop over 2009 numbers, while there was a 20% decrease in PoCo and a 43% decrease in Port Moody.

While the bait car program is credited for much of the overall improvement to the auto crime stats, Lindsay Olsen, the media relations person with ICBC, said motorists are doing their part to reduce thefts as well.

“We want to thank the 60% of B.C. drivers who have  immobilizers in their vehicles,” she said in an email. “[The devices] reduce the chance of theft by at least 80%.”

Across the province, vehicle theft is down 65% since 2003 and 22% since last year.

But while auto theft is down significantly police said the number of trailers stolen annually has remained constant. Police are hoping to replicate some of the success officers have had with the bait car program with its new bait trailer program, which was announced on Thursday. With the introduction of trailers the bait vehicle program now includes cars, motorcycles, ATVs, boats and snowmobiles.

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• 2003     —      1,710

• 2004     —      1,440

• 2005     —      1,200

• 2006     —         860

• 2007     —         760

• 2008     —         530

• 2009     —         500

• 2010     —         350



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