March 17, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
Manitoba Public Insurance is warning drivers that unused anti-theft devices leave cars vulnerable to theft. The message comes with the release of MPI’s theft statistics, which showed that in the first two weeks of March, of 360 recovered stolen vehicles in Winninpeg, 23% had an unused steering wheel lock inside.
“This percentage is the highest we’ve seen and is certainly a concern to ourselves, the police and the driving public,” says Barry Ward, auto theft countermeasures coordinator for MPI. “These devices are found lying on the floor, in the back seat or in the trunk. Had these devices been on the steering wheel, more than 80 vehicles may not have been stolen.”
Noting the steering wheel locks are the most common anti-theft device in use, MPI used the statistics as a chance to advocate factory-installed immobilizers, for which it offers a rate discount on coverage.
MPI does note that auto theft rates overall are down for the first two months of 2003. Theft was down 6.8% in Winnipeg, and 7.2% in the province overall.
“More and more Manitobans are protecting their vehicles,” says Ward. “And it’s paying off with fewer vehicles falling into the hands of thieves. But people need to remember theft can happen anywhere and anytime.”