It’s great Surrey’s auto crime is not as bad as it was in 2001, when we were tagged the car-theft capital of North America.
But it’s not that great.
That was in 2001, when more than 6,000 vehicles were stolen in 2001, climbing to 8,042 in 2003.
Last year, 2,961 were stolen, making for a five per cent decrease compared to 2016. While that of course is improvement, thanks largely to efforts from the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team and other police initiatives (see story on page 8), Surrey still has work to do, considering Vancouver in comparison had 1,495 auto thefts in 2017.
- SEE ALSO: Surrey still struggles with auto theft
Realistically, the police and the courts are only part of the solution in the fight to reduce auto theft.
April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month in B.C. for good reason. Those of us who own cars must do our part not to leave them in a state that entices thieves, such as leaving our key in the ignition when we’re warming up the car in the morning, in the driveway.
We might be only steps away, inside our home, but it doesn’t take much for a skilled thief to swiftly make off with a vehicle, especially when it’s already running.
Moreover, it is never a good idea to leave anything that can be construed as valuable in view inside your car. Ever.
Less than a dollar in loose change can lead to a smashed window, or worse. IMPACT advises vehicle owners to always lock their tailgates, have an alarm system, and to park in a locked, secure garage or in well-lit, high traffic areas.
That’s some sound wisdom.