Auto crime on the rise in 2015

Stolen vehicles up 62 per cent; thefts from vehicles up 25 per cent.

  • Jan. 28, 2015 3:00 p.m.
Data from Abbotsford Police Department.

Data from Abbotsford Police Department.

It’s still early, but the first four weeks of 2015 have seen a dramatic rise in auto crime, according to the Abbotsford Police Department.

The APD says thefts from vehicles is 25 per cent higher than the same period last year, with 121 thefts reported since Jan. 1.

The number of stolen vehicles has risen even more. Forty-four vehicles have been reported stolen in Abbotsford, up 62 per cent from the 27 vehicles stolen over the first four weeks of 2014.

The APD says it’s conducting more patrols and “has focused resources on offenders known to engage in auto crime.”

But APD Const. Ian MacDonald says the public also has a part to play in reducing auto crime.

In most of the theft from vehicles, the doors were unlocked. Thieves only had to force their way into vehicles a quarter of the time.

By locking the doors of vehicles and removing all valuables, police say the public can have a dramatic effect on the auto crime rate.

Of those cars stolen, most did not use an anti-theft device, even though many would have been eligible for a free device from the APD. Eligible vehicles include pre-2002 Honda Civics, Honda Accords, Dodge and Ford pickup trucks and Dodge Caravans.

Owners of those most-frequently stolen vehicles can bring in their insurance documents to the Community Police Office at 105-34194 Marshall Rd. to receive a free steering wheel lock.