The bait car program uses cars that may be locked, left with the keys in the ignition or left running. Once a vehicle is stolen, officers shut it off by remote control to make an arrest.
Since November 2008, the program has seen tremendous successes.
In conjunction with efforts from officers with the Service’s High Enforcement Auto Theft Team (HEATT), and a comprehensive crime-management strategy, CPS has seen a decrease in vehicle thefts.
A significant percentage of vehicle thefts are committed by chronic car thieves.
HEATT works closely with district personnel to specifically target suspected offenders and high auto-theft areas of the city.
Up to 90 per cent of car thefts in Calgary are “theft for transportation” and used to commit other crimes. Many of the stolen vehicles are recovered, but they are often damaged. Approximately 40 per cent of these vehicles were stolen using a key.
Vehicle owners can take precautions to decrease the chance of auto theft. There are several things people can do to prevent auto theft:
- Do not leave a vehicle running with the keys in it, even with the doors locked. Approximately 40 per cent of stolen vehicles recovered by the Calgary Police Service are found with the keys inside.
- Always close the windows, lock the doors and pocket the key.
- Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
- Hide valuables out of sight or take them with you.
- Use auto theft measures such as a steering wheel lock, a vehicle immobilizer system or alarm system.
- Report suspicious activity. If you see suspicious people in or around motor vehicles, call the police.