North Van RCMP want you to stop what you’re doing right now, go out to your car, remove the spare key you’ve stored there, and lock your car.
Why are they asking you to do this? Here are some stats that should answer that question.
In the past month, North Van RCMP have received 24 stolen car reports.
In 17 of those 24 (around 70%) the vehicle was left unlocked.
In 12 of those 24 (yes, 50%) the spare key was stored in, or somewhere on the vehicle.
And in 7 of those 12 (around 60%), the spare key was in the centre console.
“It’s like putting a spare house key under the front mat, or putting your wallet in your shoe at the beach while you go for a swim,” said Sgt. DeVries. “Classic ‘Family Feud’ questions. The ‘survey says’ those are the first places a thief is going to look.”
April is Lock Out Auto Crime month, and the Detachment is working with ICBC to remind people to create a habit of removing valuables from vehicles, including spare keys, and locking up at night. However, some people are still not getting the message, and the past month’s stats leave police wondering why.
“There is absolutely no reason to store a spare key in the centre console,” said DeVries. “How will that help you if you get locked out of your car?”
Just because an item is out of sight doesn’t mean thieves won’t suspect there are valuables somewhere in the car. “Everyone knows about flipping down the front visor. Everyone knows about the magnetic key holder under the bumper. And everyone knows about the centre console. The centre console is a car’s proverbial cookie jar.”
The Detachment wants to deliver a simple message to people: If you have a spare key in or somewhere on your car, go out to your car, right now. Remove it and store it in your house. And always lock your car.