ICBC's top auto crime prevention tips for the 2010 Winter Games

How to protect your vehicle from being a target

VANCOUVER, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - The 2010 Winter Games coincide with February's Auto Crime Enforcement month in British Columbia, with the theme of 'Securing the Best Winter Games Possible - Making Auto Crime a Priority'. This is happening at the same time our province is seeing the largest influx of visitors in our history - estimated at 250,000.

While auto theft numbers in BC are at a six-year low, more visitors can lead to more opportunities for auto thieves. ICBC is warning all motorists to follow these key tips to protect themselves from auto crime during and after the 2010 Winter Games:

    -  Location, location, location: VANOC has a goal of reducing vehicle
       traffic by 30 percent in key event areas, so we encourage everyone to
       use transit during the Games whenever possible. But if you do need to
       drive part of the way to an event, then park at one of the official
       Park & Ride locations for the 2010 Winter Games. These locations will
       be protected by the strategic deployment of B.C.'s Bait Car program,
       which has helped cut auto crime in half since 2003.

    -  Park smart: If you are unable to park at a secured location, then look
       for a good alternative that will make any auto thief think twice
       before stealing your vehicle. Well-lit, open areas, near significant
       pedestrian activity are an ideal choice when parking outside. Key
       places to avoid are parking behind fences or hedges, which give
       thieves cover from being seen. If using a parkade, choose one where
       you must pay on the way out. Car thieves don't mind stealing your car,
       but they won't pay for your parking and generally avoid these parking

    -  Keep it under lock: Steering wheel locks, like The Club, are a good
       option to protect your vehicle. They cost as little as $15 and provide
       a strong visual deterrent for auto thieves. Just the sight of an anti-
       theft device inside a car will put off many thieves who are looking
       for an easy vehicle to steal and will likely go for the one without
       any sign of an anti-theft device.

    -  It's not always about your vehicle: Once you have protected your
       vehicle from being stolen, it's important that you also do what you
       can to avoid being a victim of the other big auto crime threat -
       vehicle break-ins. When thinking about what items to remove from your
       vehicle, start with the obvious - take your keys with you (and close
       your windows and lock your doors, even if you are only going to be
       away for just a few moments). While it's important to remove any
       valuables from your car - such as travel documents, event tickets or
       other personal possessions - you should go a step further and remove
       everything from your vehicle, even bags with nothing valuable in them.
       Thieves will break your window just to find out if you have anything
       of value to steal.

    -  Be a good citizen: If you spot any suspicious activity around parked
       vehicles, then report it to the nearest Olympic attendant or security
       officer. You can play a role in helping to make these the most secure
       and best Winter Games possible.


For further information: For further information: Media contact: Adam Grossman, (604) 982-1332

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