Thursday April 21, 2011
BC Gov't News
Most Wanted Car Thieves Snared
Auto Crime Awareness Month produces results
Released by the Province of BC/Voice file photo
ays after the kick off to Auto Crime Enforcement Month when Solicitor General Shirley Bond released 2010 auto crime statistics, police have apprehended three of B.C.’s top 10 most wanted auto thieves.
The first of the arrests from the province’s top 10 auto thieves list came less than 24 hours after the mug shots were released last week, and was the result of an anonymous tip.
“We are encouraged by the general decline in auto crime that we have seen across the province in the past seven years.” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Shirley Bond.
Ridge Meadows RCMP arrested 26-year-old Mathew Colin Wolfe at his parents’ home without incident. Wolfe allegedly registered stolen trailers and then listed them for sale on Craigslist. He faces a total of 36 related charges.
Chilliwack MLA John Les had high praise for the awareness campaign saying “Auto Crime Prevention Month is a great way to bring awareness to the initiatives ICBC is doing to combat auto theft, and to celebrate the success these programs have had.”
Also as a result of an anonymous tip, Surrey RCMP arrested 26-year-old Christopher Henry Horkey at a residence in Surrey without incident. His last arrest involved the theft of a 2006 Jaguar.
A third individual from the province’s top 10 most-wanted auto thieves list was apprehended on Tuesday by members of the Surrey RCMP’s Auto Crime Target Team. Officers arrested Mark Forrest from the list, and his associate Desiree Belisle, after they were seen disassembling and trying to sell parts from an older model Honda Accord which was reported stolen out of White Rock.
“The success of the Bait Car Program has made our streets safer. ICBC's ongoing efforts to prevent auto crime are providing positive, tangible results,” said Chilliwack-Hope MLA Barry Penner.
The Province continues to combat car crime with the largest fleet of bait vehicles in the world and a dedicated team of auto theft enforcement police on the ground and in the skies.
The province has experienced a 65 per cent reduction in auto thefts and a 61 per cent drop in thefts from vehicles since 2003.
In Chilliwack, auto theft has decreased 64 per cent and vehicle break-ins have decreased 53 per cent since 2003.
Vehicle theft went down 14 per cent in Chilliwack between 2009 and 2010, and theft from vehicles dropped one per cent during that same period.
A bait trailer was unveiled as one of the newest tools in the bait car program that now includes other recreation vehicles like motorcycles, snowmobiles and personal watercraft, as well as ATVs.
In addition to bait vehicles, police are also using advanced technology – like the automated licence plate recognition program that can scan 3,000 plates per hour – to help locate stolen vehicles and unlicensed drivers on the road.
For more information on the Province’s top 10 wanted auto thieves, as well as details on the types of vehicles most frequently stolen and tips to protect your vehicle, visit the bait car program here.
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