It’s auto crime enforcement month, and the BC RCMP is offering tips to prevent you from being a victim.

THINK is an acronym to keep in mind.

It stands for:

  • T – Take your valuables
  • H – Hide valuables out of plain sight
  • I – Immobilize your vehicle
  • N – Never idle unattended
  • K – Key Security (keep track of your keys)

This past year saw a 4.3 per cent increase in theft from vehicles across British Columbia, and a 12 per cent jump outside of Metro Vancouver.

Campbell River RCMP spokesman, Const. Maury Tyre, said keeping thieves out of your vehicle is as simple as locking it up and keeping it clean.

Auto crime graphic. (Supplied by the BC RCMP)

“First and foremost, make sure before you go to bed, that you’ve locked your vehicle, if you are going out shopping, ensure that your vehicle is locked properly,” he said. 

“The second thing to do is to make sure you don’t have visible valuables inside the vehicle. Actually having a clean car helps. What we see a lot of unfortunately is individuals going in, trying to find spare change and in other cases, the big one that people are looking for, is that people leave their wallets inside their vehicles. Those wallets have credit cards and debit cards that can be tapped and bills of several hundred dollars can be racked up quite quickly.”

To stop thieves in their tracks, the RCMP is urging you to:

  • always lock your vehicle;
  • never leave duplicate sets of keys in your vehicle (including a ‘valet’ key);
  • park in high traffic, well-lit areas;
  • remove all valuables and personal items; and
  • Leave nothing in plain sight (sunglasses, wallets, cash, garage door openers, etc.).

Tyre said thieves who break into cars are quite desperate and in Campbell River in particular, there has been an increase in thieves breaking glass to get inside a vehicle.

He said if you park long-term, you could be victimized by thieves who “scope out” your vehicle over a period of time.

“If you have the ability to get someone to drop you off instead of parking your vehicle, or maybe in some cases pay for parking such as the place down at the (Campbell River) harbour, there is pay parking and there are cameras inside the pay parking areas,” Tyre added.

More safety tips can be found here.

You can find a list of Wanted Auto Crime Offenders in B.C. here