City witnesses drop in auto crime

RCMP are winning the fight against automobile crime in Penticton with 42 per cent less vehicle thefts and 32 per cent fewer break-ins last year.

RCMP are winning the fight against automobile crime in Penticton with 42 per cent less vehicle thefts and 32 per cent fewer break-ins last year.

The statistics released by ICBC tout the use of police bait cars in the battle against car thefts and customers who have immobilizers in the vehicles as some of the major reasons why the number of incidents reported to ICBC dropping.

“We have had a couple of bait vehicles here and I think that certainly has contributed to the decrease along with the education. The message is getting out for people to be a little more conscious of securing their vehicles,” said Sgt. Rick Dellebuur.

“We got one of our prolific car thieves off the street about a year-and-a-half ago when he stole a bait car. It will be interesting because a couple of those people are due to be released shortly and we will see if we get a flurry of car thefts again. More often than not they go back to their ways.”

Penticton RCMP Community Safety Team officers work with the bait cars and the Penticton detachment crime analyst to pinpoint areas that RCMP are having problems with car thefts.

The RCMP use statistical information to target those areas to act as a deterrent and catch some of the thieves. In December RCMP caught a Penticton man who activated a bait car. He received 30 days in jail for theft of a motor vehicle.

Dellebuur said a large amount of vehicles stolen in the Penticton area are often taken for joyrides and then destroyed. The use of immobilizers in vehicles, according to ICBC stats, reduces the chance of theft by at least 80 per cent.

“Technology certainly assists us in the fight against auto theft. We all see the results of that on our insurance premiums. The more vehicles that get lost or stolen and the more insurance payouts, we all pay for that,” said Dellebuur.

ICBC also reports that theft-from-vehicle incidents reported to them from Penticton have dropped. From 2009 to 2010 they saw a 32 per cent decrease of theft from vehicle incidents reported and a 60 per cent drop from 2003 to 2010.

Despite the decrease over seven years, trailer theft has remained constant, with about 500 trailers stolen every year in B.C.

The new bait trailer program unveiled last week by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General can range from recreational and camping-type trailers, to mobile cargo and utility units. Dellebuur said if the RCMP statistics indicate there is a problem in the Penticton area the expects the bait trailer program would be activated.

“This is the latest weapon in the highly successful Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team arsenal, which puts thieves behind bars on a regular basis,” said Solicitor General Shirley Bond. “In fact, the province has seen an unprecedented seven-consecutive-year drop in car thefts since 2003. This is a 65 per cent decrease from 26,000 incidents in 2003 to 9,000 in 2010.”

 

Just Posted

Charges for the attempted murder of an Oliver man dropped

Afshin Maleki Ighani was accused of shooting an Oliver man in April.

Minor chlorine leak at Penticton water treatment plant

Emergency responders are at the Penticton water treatment plant

Former Penticton Pinnacles Football coach sues club

Ezra Cremers is suing the Pinnacles Football Club for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract

Holiday changes for curbside pickup

The RDOS is rescheduling some pickups around the holidays

Wintry weather to roll into Southern Interior

The Southern Interior is expected to get a snowstorm followed by freezing temperatures.

Santa’s helpers take treats to an Okanagan retirement home

Santa’s Little Helpers surprised an Okanagan retirement home with chocolates, flowers and cupcakes.

UPDATE: Grizzly bear trophy hunting over in B.C.

Now only Indigenous people can hunt bears for meat

Star Blue Jays announced for Vancouver ‘Winter Tour’ event in January

Toronto’s pro baseball team heads west for two-day event

Mental effects of wildfire still linger in Fort McMurray

‘Resilient, but tired:’ Mental effects of wildfire lingering in Fort McMurray

Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

AP Exclusive: Climate change hits Winter Olympic preparation

Calgary Flames thump Vancouver Canucks 6-1

Mark Giordano, Sam Bennett lead the way as Flames thump Canucks 6-1

Homicide detectives now probing billionaire couple’s death

Police release cause of death of Barry and Honey Sherman as “ligature neck compression”

‘Case not made’ for Liberal bill’s problematic cyberspy powers

The Liberal government’s ill-defined plan to give Canada’s cyberspy agency wide-ranging powers to go on the attack against threats could trample civil liberties

Most Read