The Insurance Corporation of B.C. says there was roughly 10,000 vehicle break-ins throughout the province last year — that’s one car broken into every hour — and it’s reminding motorists to be vigilant.
In 2016, in the Lower Mainland 8,600 vehicle break-ins were reported to ICBC, 410 on Vancouver Island, 640 in the Southern Interior, and 180 in the North Central region.
Police are reminding motorists to remove valuables from their vehicles, park in secure, well-lit areas, treat their keys as though they were cash, and to use an immobilizer or steering wheel lock.
According to ICBC, older vehicles — those manufactured prior to 2007 — are easier targets for thieves. Since Sept. 1, 2007, all cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs are required to come equipped with anti-theft engine immobilizers.
Items most often stolen from vehicles are smartphones and other devices like tablets, iPods, laptops and GPS, as well as work tools, credit cards and identification, stereo equipment, cash and change, car parts and accessories, garage door openers, sunglasses and keys.
According to police reports, in 2016 thieves favoured targeting Ford F Series pickup trucks, Honda Civic and CRX, Dodge pickup trucks, GMC/Chevrolet pickup trucks, Ford E Series vans, Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee, Acura Integra, Toyota Corolla, Honda CRV and Dodge Caravan.