Bait trailers are newest police tactic to bust thieves

Hidden GPS units aim to combat theft of 500 trailers per year, top 10 wanted list released



Police are rolling out new bait trailers equipped with hidden GPS beacons so officers can track and bust thieves who steal them.

The new tactic aims to cut down the theft of more than 500 trailers stolen in B.C. each year.

That theft rate has held steady, while the successful bait car program is credited with helping dramatically chop auto theft rates by 65 per cent since 2003.

The number of vehicles stolen last year fell 22 per cent from 2009. Thefts from within vehicles dropped 15 per cent.

“A host of different types of trailers are now armed with hidden GPS technology and will be planted throughout British Columbia just waiting to be stolen,” said Sgt. Gord Elias of the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT).

“They will look just like any other trailer and will come in many makes, models, sizes and colours,” he said.

“We’re going to move them around and change them up wherever they’re needed.”

Elias said stolen trailers, which can range from cargo or utility trailers to recreational ones, are often sold privately through ads and via websites.

Manufactured trailers must have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), Elias said, and any buyer who encounters a trailer without one and suspects it’s stolen should contact police.

IMPACT also released a video showing the arrest last summer of thieves who stole a bait trailer and truck and were tracked by police helicopter through Langley and Surrey, until they were captured in Cloverdale.

Since the bait car program was launched in 2002, it has expanded to include motorcycles, ATVs, boats and snowmobiles as well.

IMPACT also issued its annual top 10 wanted list of suspected car thieves.

Topping the list is Xiao Sean Zhang, 25, wanted by Vancouver police on multiple theft and other warrants. Zhang is accused of finding cars for sale on craigslist and then stealing them during test drives. He was the driver in a 2006 hit-and-run in downtown Vancouver that killed a vacationing doctor from New Zealand.

Christopher Paul Black, second on the list, is dubbed the “puppy-punching car thief” because officers spotted him punching a defenseless dog in the head just before being arrested in Chilliwack in an SUV stolen from a Coquitlam dealership.

The list includes three men wanted by Surrey RCMP: 46-year-old James Harold Mattie, considered violent and wanted on a Canada-wide warrant; Christopher Henry Horkey, 26, described as a car thief with an appetite for high-end cars like Jaguars; and Mark Adam Forrest, 25, alleged to use stolen cars to commit residential break-ins.

Michael Allan  DeYoung, 24, is wanted by New Westminster Police for breach of parole four days after release from federal prison on a robbery conviction. He’s also considered dangerous.

 

Just Posted

Death Café returns to Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Summerland events toast touchy subject

Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

Fentanyl, cocaine, body armour seized in Vernon suspected ‘dial a dope’ arrests

Five people suspected of being involved in a dial a dope operation arrested

More snow on the way for Okanagan-Shuswap

Up to 5 cm of the white stuff could fall across the Okanagan - Shuswap on Friday

SilverStar’s historic green chair up for auction

Mountain celebrates Emergency Service providers Saturday with fundraiser for firefighters

Vernon art gallery turns out the lights and throws a party

DJ, drinks and food at Art After Dark Feb. 23

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Semi loses control on Highway 97A in Shuswap

Slippery roads contribute to crash of transport truck carrying tires

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Most Read