Number of vehicle thefts drops in North Okanagan

Successful crime reduction strategies are working well for the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP detachment when it comes to theft of, and theft from, vehicles.

ICBC released statistics that showed thefts of vehicles reported to ICBC from Vernon dropped 47 per cent in 2010 over 2009.

Since 2003, vehicle thefts have declined 57 per cent in Vernon.

Despite a rash of thefts from vehicles this past weekend, Vernon numbers dropped 31 per cent in 2010 from the year before, and the number has dipped by 71 per cent from 2003 to 2010.

“I think a large part of that are the initiatives our detachment has put in place,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk, referring to the detachment’s community response unit which handles a great majority of these type of complaints.

Targeting prolific offenders by monitoring their movements and whereabouts has also helped reduce the theft numbers, as has the province-wide bait car program.

Specifically, there were 130 reported thefts of vehicles from Vernon to ICBC in 2010, down from 250 in 2009.

The largest number of thefts reported in one year was 310 in 2003.

There were 100 reported thefts from vehicles in Vernon last year, a drop from 150 reported in ‘09 and a long ways from the 400 reported in 2004.

“Obviously, our crime reduction strategies are paying off,” said Molendyk.