Automobile thefts plunge dramatically in Vernon

Auto Crime Enforcement Month is rung in by the announcement of significant reductions in auto crime in B.C. in 2012.

The provincial government, RCMP and ICBC are trumpeting Auto Crime Enforcement Month by  announcing significant reductions in auto crime in B.C. in 2012.

Since 2003, auto theft reported to ICBC has dropped by 73 per cent in B.C. and in 2012, there’s been a seven per cent decrease in auto theft compared to the previous year.

However, in the last four months of 2012, there was a slight increase in theft from vehicles in B.C. compared to previous years.

In Vernon, there were 70 per cent fewer ICBC-reported vehicle thefts and 81 per cent fewer break-ins in 2012 compared to 2003. In 2012, there were 18 per cent fewer vehicle thefts and 35 per cent fewer break-ins compared to 2011.

Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk feels one of the main contributing factors to the reductions in crime has been the success of the bait car program, where thieves steal specifically modified vehicles and get caught.

“Individuals are being caught because of the equipment inside (the bait car),” said Molendyk. “The bait car program has especially helped us apprehend some prolific offenders who steal vehicles or steal from vehicles. It’s one of the significant contributions to the reduction of theft from vehicles and theft of vehicles.”

Vernon-North Okanagan statistics show there were 835 theft from vehicles reported to the local detachments in 2012, up slightly from 809 in 2011. Of those 835 thefts, 529 occurred in the City of Vernon.

There were 242 theft of vehicles reported to police in 2012 in the region, which encompasses Lumby through to Falkland and Enderby. That’s down considerably from 328 reports in 2011.

Of the 242 vehicles reported to police as stolen (and vehicles can include bicycles and ATVs), 130 were in the City of Vernon.