Free locks in Chilliwack to cut rising auto theft numbers

Using a steering wheel lock or an immobilizer can go along way toward preventing auto theft, said ICBC and RCMP with Operation Lock Up

Const. Jodi Lymburner (left) and Cpl. Nicole Delagorgendiere were at UFV Trades and Technology Centre Thursday handing out steering wheel locks to students and staff who own some of the top-ten stolen vehicles listed by ICBC. Auto crime is on the rise in B.C. for the first time in a decade. Chilliwack RCMP

Const. Jodi Lymburner (left) and Cpl. Nicole Delagorgendiere were at UFV Trades and Technology Centre Thursday handing out steering wheel locks to students and staff who own some of the top-ten stolen vehicles listed by ICBC. Auto crime is on the rise in B.C. for the first time in a decade. Chilliwack RCMP

It might sound counterintuitive but older vehicles are at a higher risk of being stolen than flashy new ones.

The number one vehicle stolen in the Fraser Valley was either a 1998 or 2000 Honda Civic, according to the Top 10 list from ICBC.

The older Hondas are second only to F-series Ford trucks from 2005 or 2006.

Using a steering wheel lock or an immobilizer can go along way toward preventing auto theft.

That’s the thinking as Chilliwack RCMP, and ICBC team up this week to launch Operation Lock Up, a program to help protect older model vehicles from being stolen with free steering wheel locks.

They started out with 100 locks to give away to the public, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

“Auto crime is on the rise in B.C. for the first time in a decade,” said RCMP Cpl. Nicole Delagorgendiere.

The first month of 2015 in Chilliwack saw 44 vehicles stolen, compared to only 18 in January 2014, which shows it more than doubled from the same time last year.

In February 2014, there were 27 vehicles stolen, and 32 in February of 2015.

The activities and movements of known prolific offenders make a big impact when it comes to auto crime, said the officer in charge of community policing in Chilliwack.

Four car thieves that came to town earlier in the year were put out of commission when they were taken into custody, and by the end of February the auto theft numbers were down.

“Our theft of auto and theft from auto rates often correlate with who recently gets out of custody and who goes in,” she said.

Officials are trying to get across the message that “prevention and education” are key, and are targeting owners that don’t have immobilizers installed with the lock-up program.

It may be obvious, but it’s crucial for owners to lock and secure their vehicles each and every time.

Nothing should be left inside the vehicle. Anything in view can be a target, from sought-after purses, laptops, or GPS systems, to something as simple as that loonie or toonie left in the tray.

“As well, use an immobilizer device to prevent your vehicle from being stolen. And if it is an older model of a vehicle, which are often easier targets, please use a steering wheel locking device.”

Certain vehicles are more at risk, said ICBC road safety coordinator Mike Weightman.

That’s why they are aiming the program at owners of older vehicles.

“It’s because those vehicles are seen as easier to steal.”

Unfortunately the ones having their older cars or trucks stolen are usually new drivers, lower income workers, or students.

They will be handing out free steering wheel locks, or clubs, to owners of the Top Ten stolen vehicles as listed, upon producing valid proof of ownership. They will be on location:

• Monday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Save On Foods in Salish Plaza.

• Tuesday May 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Chilliwack Leisure Landing Centre.

They also will be handing out clubs at the Chilliwack Community Policing Office at 45877 Wellington Ave. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until the clubs are all gone, on a first-come-first-served basis.

ICBC’s Top 10 List of stolen vehicles in the Fraser Valley (2013):

1. Honda Civic 1998, 20002. Ford F-Series 2005, 20063. Honda Accord 1991, 19924. Chrysler (Dodge/Plymouth) Ram 1998, 20015. Chrysler (Dodge/Plymouth) Caravan/Voyager** 1994, 19956. Acura Integra 1992, 19947. Ford Econoline E350 / E450 2002, 2003, 20068. Chevrolet / GMC Silverado / Sierra 1992, 19959. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee 1993, 199510. Dodge Dakota 1993, 1997

Just Posted

The Prest Road upgrade and widening project, with plans to replace the Semiault Creek bridge, will see a full road closure from June 21 to Sept. 3, 2021. (City of Chilliwack)
Full road closure coming for Prest Road widening project

It will be ‘local traffic only’ to nearby homes and farms once Prest Road is closed June 21

Hudson Dennill will head to Ohio this fall, signing a letter of intent with the Walsh University Cavaliers. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)
Dennill will join the Cavaliers this fall and play in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference

Sardis Falcons lacrosse star Hudson Dennill commits to Walsh University

A lone walker on the Hope River Corbould Park Rotary Trail on March 29, 2021. City of Chilliwack is seeking community input on its parks, recreation and culture master plan. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community input sought on the future of Chilliwack parks and recreation

Feedback from public sought as master plan for Chilliwack parks, rec and culture starts this summer

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Most Read