Theft from vehicles on the North Shore has been escalating over the last several months. To remind everyone to break the habit of leaving valuables in their respective vehicles North Vancouver RCMP, West Vancouver Police Department, and ICBC held a news conference today addressing this issue. The slogan repeated was: Break The Habit – Remove Valuables From Your Vehicle!

The North Shore has been hit especially hard over these last few months. Collectively across the North Shore in both West and North Vancouver for the months of July, August, and September and up to this week, there have been 698 reports of thefts from autos.

The attention of a criminal is especially drawn to a vehicle where valuables are left in plain view. One car thief stated that if a neighborhood consistently kept their vehicles free of valuables he would move on to another neighborhood.

By breaking the habit of leaving valuables in your vehicle you dramatically decrease the chance of being targeted by thieves. The added message is: Only you can change the habit you have created.

Theft from autos is a crime of opportunity, meaning they are preventable! A theft from your vehicle can be completed in less than a minute, with a significant number of these crimes occurring between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am.

We want to help protect our customers from becoming the victims of auto crime, said Harvey Kooner, local ICBC road safety coordinator. Keep your keys secure at all times, lock your vehicle whenever it’s unattended and remove electronics and other valuables.

Police & ICBC recommend these few simple tips to enhance vehicle safety:

  • Keep the interior of your car showroom clean. Never leave valuables, including bags, purses, wallets, briefcases, laptops, cell phones, loose change, or anything that may appear valuable to a thief in plain view.
  • Hide chargers and accessories that indicate a GPS, mobile phone, or other devices that may be stashed in your vehicle.
  • Remove garage door openers, key cards, and house or work keys from the car so that a prowler cannot gain access to your home.
  • Don’t store or leave credit cards, identification or personal information in your glove box or anywhere in your car.

Over the next few weeks both North Shore Police and ICBC will be using social media to remind the public to Break The Habit – Remove Valuables From Your Vehicle.

As we are approaching the busy Christmas shopping season the message to not leave valuables in your vehicle is timely as well!

The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the police by calling either the North Vancouver RCMP 604-985-1311 or the West Vancouver Police Department 604-925-7300.