The bait car program has significantly reduced the number of vehicles stolen in Maple Ridge, with reductions also in Pitt Meadows.
While the drop was less significant over the last year in Maple Ridge – at only three per cent – from 2003 to 2012, car theft dropped from 550 to 140, according to statistics from ICBC.
In Pitt Meadows, auto theft dropped 72 per cent during the same period, from 100 back in 2003 to 30 last year.
Ridge Meadows RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said the trend shows the bait car program is successful and the deterrent’s working.
“These statistics show that the B.C. RCMP’s Crime Reduction Strategy... is working and doing what it was intended to do, which is drive incidents of crime down,” she said.
In a comparison to last year, theft of automobiles in Maple Ridge are down slightly, but there’s a significantly larger drop in Pitt Meadows.
There was almost a 40-per-cent drop in car thefts in Pitt Meadows during the past year, compared to only a three-per-cent decrease in Maple Ridge, according to a report from Insurance Corporation of B.C.
Ridge Meadows RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop said the trend is indicative of the bait car program being successful and the deterrents working.
The biggest drop, however, was noted when ICBC compared local vehicle thefts from 2012 to when ICBC and police first introduced the bait cars in 2003.
“These statistics show that the B.C. RCMP’s Crime Reduction Strategy... is working and doing what it was intended to do, which is drive incidents of crime down,” Dunlop said.
Police have a new way to deter thieves and help protect vehicle owners. The bait car program now includes bait property.
Bait property will look no different than any other property thieves may find in vehicles, and may range from tool boxes to a gym bag. The difference is it can be tracked and monitored by police.
“Auto crime, including theft of and theft from vehicles continue to be a focus of Ridge Meadows RCMP,” said Dunlop.
“Ridge Meadows RCMP have tried to give our citizens ways on how to protect themselves from being a victim through messaging on our web site and face book page.
Police will continue with crime reducing initiatives, such as the Bait Car program with the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT).
“The partnership police have with ICBC has helped keep citizens informed, as police cannot do it alone we are all in this together,” said the corporal.
The list of top 10 items stolen from vehicles are smartphones, personal electronics such as laptops, work tools, credit cards and ID, stereo equipment, cash and change, car parts, garage door openers, sunglasses, and keys.
Thieves who break into a bait vehicle to steal property will be seen live on video at E-Comm-911, who monitors all bait cars in B.C., 24/7 on behalf of police.