Theft from vehicles continues to be a major problem in the Langleys and police are now going door-to-door to educate car owners. People who leave money or property in plain view in their vehicle may as well take their property and ‘give it away,’ said police.
According to ICBC, theft from vehicles in 2012 was up seven per cent over the year prior. It may seem insignificant to leave loose change in the console, but the cost in time and money to repair damage to a vehicle is significant. Most people have to pay a $300 deductible.
Over a two-week period, Langley RCMP auxiliaries and Community Police volunteers walked through residential areas in the Fort Langley and Yorkson checking parallel parked vehicles for invitations to auto crime.
If a car was found to be unlocked, to have valuables in plain view, or have a visible garage door opener — the volunteers would attend the residences nearby to locate the owner and offer some safety tips and a crime prevention notice. Over five days, volunteers distributed 392 notices and went to 516 homes.
Car owners can protect themselves against license plate decal theft by removing the older decals before applying the new one. These decals are designed to shred if they are removed, however when there is a build-up, thieves can use a knife to cut off the last few layers so that the top (current) decal remains intact. If your decal is stolen, it needs to be reported to police and your will be required to pay an $18 fee to have the decal replaced.
Bait cars are being set up all around Metro Vancouver to catch thieves who break into vehicles.
“Please do everything you can to save yourself the time, money and inconvenience of theft from your vehicle,” said Cpl. Holly Marks. “Just by parking in your driveway, you cut your chances having your vehicle broken into by half.”