A History of Car Theivery: From The Netherlands to Williams Lake, B.C.

A recent article on Mashable caught my attention with a headline about the problem with all the openness in a social media world. However, my attention was soon redirected by the mention at the end of the article about clever car thieves in the Netherlands who reverse engineer luxury car GPS systems by stealing cars at the airport and using the system to lead them back to empty homes.

The GPS scam struck me as a particularly civilized form of robbery, a Thomas Crowne type of an affair involving airports and luxury cars, as compared to the rude reminder of B.C.’s less glamorous car theft problem I received when I was recently visiting Vancouver. As I got on the SkyTrain to head downtown, a huge sign tacked to the wall of the mall overlooking a grey parking lot warned “Bait Cars Are Everywhere.”

Steal One. Go to Jail.

The car bait program has been in place since 2002 and has seen a dramatic decrease in car thefts in the Lower Mainland, according to ICBC. The program has a sexy website (in comparison to ICBC or the VPD anyway), which is where I found this gem about how my hometown is managing to buck the province-wide trend of declining car thefts: Bait Cars Tackle Williams Lake Auto Theft Epidemic.

I’ll have to write something nice about my hometown next time. Until then, underscore_mouse and abbenquesnel have some pretty Flickr pictures of the area…


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