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Thieves broke into more than 500 cars in Vancouver’s West End in August: police

Vancouver police are reminding the public not to leave anything visible in their vehicle that might attract a thief.
Vancouver police are reminding the public not to leave anything visible in their vehicle that might attract a thief. Rudy Pawlychyn/Global News

Clean your car out and lock it tight.

That’s the advice coming from Vancouver police, who say they’re dealing with a surge this year in vehicle break-ins.

Vancouver police spokesperson Aaron Roed said the numbers are up city-wide, but are particularly noticeable in the West End.

READ MORE: West Vancouver police say a home was broken into nearly every day in July

“In 2018 at the end of August, we had just over 9,000 thefts from autos in the City of Vancouver. At the end of August this year we’re seeing just under 11,000,” said Roed.

“In the West End alone we’re seeing an increase of about 20 per cent.”

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Delta Police launch plan to combat theft from auto
Delta Police launch plan to combat theft from auto

Roed said there were more than 500 vehicle break-ins in the West End in August, compared to just 400 last August.

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He said a large portion of property crimes are actually committed by a small number of prolific thieves, and encouraged the public to call 911 if they see a suspicious person prowling around vehicles in their neighbourhood.

READ MORE: Richmond RCMP issue warning after thieves break into 169 cars in a month

“Property crime can be prevented if everybody works together, notifies of suspicious activity, locks their vehicles, parks them in well lit areas, doesn’t leave valuables open and visible to thieves,” Roed said.

Roed said people who find their vehicle broken into should always call the non-emergency line to report it, even if the thieves didn’t take anything, so that officers can increase their presence in the area.