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Theft of vehicles is on the rise in Prince George

Prince George is facing an unfortunate rise in auto theft with an increase of 50% since November 2021 and the extreme cold may have been the cause.

A common theme has been identified across the city: the vehicles were idling with the keys in the ignition.

“It takes only a few seconds for a thief to gain access to your vehicle and drive away with it. Even if you think you’re only going to be running quickly into the house or a store, that is all the time a thief needs to steal your car,” states Cpl. Jennifer Cooper.

Additionally, the location of these auto thefts has also changed since 2020 when the majority were being stolen from store parking lots.

About 75% of vehicles stolen in 2021 were sitting in residential driveways.

<who> Photo Credit: 123rf </who> Stock picture.

“Any unsecured vehicle is a target for auto crime,”said Doug Mac Donald, local ICBC road safety coordinator. "Also remember to remove any valuables including smartphones, laptops, backpacks and packages.”

Both the Prince George and ICBC offer residents a few tips to prevent car theft:

  • Don’t leave your car idling with the keys inside. If you can’t remotely start your vehicle to warm it up, it's a smart decision to sit inside.

  • Keep track of your keys and don’t leave your purse, jackets or backpacks unattended.

  • Always lock your car when you leave it.

  • Consider using an anti-theft device or make sure you car alarm works

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