Ford F-Series trucks now most stolen vehicles in B.C.



    ICBC, police respond with immobilizer offer, more bait cars

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - ICBC, the provincial government, and the
Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) have announced new
approaches to reduce the theft of Ford F-Series trucks - now the most stolen
vehicles in B.C.
    While the theft rate for most vehicles has declined significantly over
the last year, Ford F-Series trucks haven't done as well. Thieves often target
these vehicles because many are not immobilized. ICBC, the provincial
government and IMPACT want to ensure drivers of these vehicles are using
immobilizers to protect against auto theft.
    "We have made great strides in reducing auto theft over the past five
years in B.C.," said Solicitor General John van Dongen. "By specifically
targeting the most stolen vehicle in B.C., we believe we can build on our
successes and further reduce vehicle theft and enhance public safety."
    In 2007, Ford F-series trucks were the fourth most stolen vehicles in
B.C. Now that they are in the number one spot, ICBC has launched a pilot
project in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to offer owners of
non-immobilized 2000 to 2006 Ford F-Series trucks a free electronic
immobilizer, up to a value of $160 including installation and tax. Letters
will be mailed out this month to 2,200 owners of F-150s, F-250s and F-350s.
Those receiving the offer will have until December 6, 2008, to book their
installation at a participating retailer.
    "Immobilizers are the best protection against auto theft and we are
optimistic that this pilot project, along with the bait car program and other
strategies, will help continue the downward trend in theft," says Nicolas
Jimenez, ICBC's Road Safety director. "The average repair cost for a stolen
Ford F-Series truck is more than twice that of the average stolen vehicle in
B.C. By reducing thefts and claims costs, we can keep providing customers with
low and stable rates."
    As part of this initiative, IMPACT is also increasing the number of Ford
F-Series trucks in their bait car fleet. "We're taking action to further bring
down auto theft," says Sgt. Gord Elias of IMPACT. "The theft of Ford pick-ups
often leads to significant public safety issues - thieves target these
powerful trucks because they know how to steal them and often use them to
commit other serious crimes. Now we are expanding the net and are targeting
the thieves that steal these vehicles."
    The bait car program and other auto crime prevention programs and tools
have been very effective in reducing auto crime. When comparing statistics in
the first six months of 2008 to the same period in 2007, auto theft has
dropped by 16 per cent in B.C. and 19 per cent in the Lower Mainland. In the
first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2003 - the year
IMPACT's bait car program first started - auto theft has dropped by 45 per
cent in B.C. and by 54 per cent in the Lower Mainland.
    For more information on anti-theft devices and optional insurance
discounts, visit icbc.com.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Adam Grossman, ICBC, (604)
982-1332; Sgt. Gord Elias, IMPACT, (604) 833-4401

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