The Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) says there were roughly 10,000 vehicle break-ins throughout B.C. in 2016 – that’s one car broken into every hour – and it’s reminding motorists to be vigilant.
In Burns Lake, nine thefts from a motor vehicle were reported to the RCMP in 2016. Burns Lake RCMP detachment commander corporal Aaron Semmler says all of these vehicles were left unlocked.
Another four cases of vandalism and six cases of stolen vehicles in the Burns Lake area were reported to ICBC in 2016.
Earlier this year, a vehicle was stolen from a residence at Blue Spruce Mobile Home Park in Burns Lake while the vehicle was left warning up.
Police are reminding motorists to remove valuables from their vehicles, park in secure, well-lit areas, treat their keys as though they were cash, and to use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock.
According to ICBC, older vehicles – those manufactured prior to 2007 – are easier targets for thieves. Since Sept. 1, 2007, all cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs are required to come equipped with anti-theft engine immobilizers.
Items most often stolen from vehicles are smartphones and other devices like tablets, iPods, laptops and GPS, as well as work tools, credit cards and identification, stereo equipment, cash and change, car parts and accessories, garage door openers, sunglasses and keys.
According to police reports, in 2016 thieves favoured targeting Ford F Series pickup trucks, Honda Civic and CRX, Dodge pickup trucks, GMC/Chevrolet pickup trucks, Ford E Series vans, Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee, Acura Integra, Toyota Corolla, Honda CRV and Dodge Caravan.
In ICBC’s north central region, a total of 180 vehicle break-ins were reported in 2016 while 460 vehicles were reported stolen.
In the Lower Mainland, 8600 vehicle break-ins were reported to ICBC in 2016, 410 on Vancouver Island, and 640 in the Southern Interior.