Vancouver, British Columbia – The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has outlined the top five reasons why a vehicle could be targeted by auto thieves, along with tips to prevent it from happening. The announcement was made in conjunction with April being named Auto Crime Enforcement Month in B.C.
The reasons and tips are:
You’re an easy target – so get immobilized. The number-one reason most vehicles are stolen is because they do not have an immobilizer; car thieves are looking for vehicles to steal quickly, with the least amount of hassle. Electronic immobilizers require a special key or small electronic device to start the vehicle’s engine. Most passenger vehicles and light trucks built after September 2007 come equipped with an immobilizer, but you can have one installed in an earlier model, usually for as little as $160. Customers who have a passive electronic immobilizer installed receive a discount on their comprehensive coverage, and can receive a $100 rebate on their deductibles at the time of any successful or attempted theft.
You’re not using a visual deterrent – keep your vehicle under lock. Steering wheel locks, like The Club, cost as little as $15 and provide a stronger visual deterrent for an auto thieves than an immobilizer alone. These types of anti-theft devices come in various forms, but the most common are steering wheel locking bars. No matter what type you purchase, make sure the product meets Canadian standards for automotive theft deterrents.
Location, location, location – choose secure areas that will make thieves think twice. By parking in a safe and secure place, you will make it that much harder for anyone to steal your vehicle. Avoid parking behind fences or hedges, which give thieves cover. At home, consider a motion-activated light in your driveway. If you have an automatic gate to underground parking, wait for it to close behind you. When out with your vehicle, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic. When parking downtown, choose a parkade where you must pay on the way out; thieves generally avoid these lots as they won’t pay for your parking.
It’s not always your vehicle the thief wants – remove any visible contents from your vehicle. Start with the obvious: take your keys with you, and close your windows and lock the doors, even if you are only going to be away for just a few moments. Remove everything from your vehicle, even bags with nothing valuable in them. Thieves will break your window to find out if you have anything of value to steal, which will cost you your deductible.
Auto thieves really like your vehicle – so follow all of these key tips, and look for more at ICBC. There are certain vehicles that thieves just know how to steal. Older vehicles often don’t have effective anti-theft devices, which is why the average age of a stolen vehicle in B.C. is about 11 years old. The most popular stolen vehicles in B.C. are Ford F-Series trucks. Other top targets are the Honda Civic, Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Honda Accord and Jeep Cherokee.