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Bait Car program expands to include commercial vehicles

An environmentally friendly locomotive called the Green Goat, which has been designed by Vancouver-based firm, RailPower. Leaning out of the car is Frank Donelly, CTO, RailPower Technologies Corporation, of Vancouver. He's the inventor of the Green Goat locomotive, a diesel fuel/battery hybrid, which has the potential to reduce emissions in low-horsepower locomotives used to move freight around rail yards. photo by Nigel Horsley

photo by Nigel Horsley

A program that has helped nab hundreds of car thieves across British Columbia has been expanded to cover commercial vehicles, including construction equipment.

Justice Minister and Attorney-General Shirley Bond says adding commercial vehicles to the 10-year-old Bait Car program follows current auto crime trends.

The program, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, was launched after car theft statistics peaked in 2003, and later expanded to include ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles.

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Bait vehicles are placed in various areas and include a video cameras and engine immobilizers, allowing police to see the thief and remotely disable the vehicle's engine.

Ms. Bond said that in the 10 years of the program, 77 of the 80 most-wanted car thieves in B.C. have been caught.

Fiona Temple, director of road safety for the Insurance Corp. of B.C., says auto theft has been reduced by 71 per cent in the last eight years.

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