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Window of Opportunity: B.C. car thieves targeting pre-2008 vehicles, data shows

Victoria, British Columbia — According to new data analysis from the CBC, car thieves on Canada’s west coast have slightly more retro taste than their eastern counterparts, noting that most models stolen in British Columbia are from between 1997 and 2007.

This trend bucks the norm seen throughout much of the rest of the country, where higher-end, often push-start ignition vehicles are targeted for theft, due to the ability to reprogram key fobs.

Experts point out that this trend is likely due in part to the fact that it wasn’t until 2007 that the federal government mandated all Canadian-built vehicles to be equipped with anti-theft engine immobilizers.

On top of that, vehicles from B.C. are noted to have generally longer lifespans than vehicles from other provinces.

According to a 2016 Canadian Vehicle Market Review by DesRosiers Automotive Consultants, B.C. has the highest number of registered vehicles that are ten or more years old, making up 45.6 percent of the province’s entire fleet.

In 2020, 7,500 pre-2008 vehicles were stolen in B.C., according to ICBC.

“They’re an easier target,” said Cpl. Vanessa Munn from the Surrey RCMP.

As it stands, the province is looking at anti-theft models employed in other parts of the country to help address this growing trend.

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