Crime Prevention Strategies & Tips
Auto Break-Ins and Vehicle Theft
Tips to Help Eliminate Auto Theft (H.E.A.T):
- Keep your spare keys in your wallet, not in your car.
- Invest in a good anti-theft device.
- Use a steering wheel lock
- Close windows and lock doors.
- Take your possessions with you — don’t leave cash or valuables in plain view.
- Avoid parking behind fences or hedges.
- At home, light your driveway all night. Elsewhere, park in well-lit areas near pedestrian traffic.
- After opening an automatic gate to underground parking, watch out for thieves waiting to slip inside. Wait for gates to close behind you.
- Engrave your stereo and other onboard valuables with your driver’s license number.
- Install an anti-theft device to protect your stereo or buy a unit that is removable and take it with you when you park.
- Don’t leave your garage door opener in your vehicle.
- Write down your serial number in a safe, secure location.
- Deter catalytic converter theft. Click here to learn more.
If you see any suspicious person or activity near a vehicle, please report it to police. Click here to learn more about how to report crime.
Auto Theft Reduction Programs
Project H.E.A.T provides citizens with the knowledge and resources they need to avoid becoming victims of auto theft. Port Coquitlam community volunteers will be issuing Crime Prevention Notices and placing them on vehicle windshields. These notices will provide important feedback and helpful tips on how to protect your vehicle. Parking lot audits are being conducted at a variety of locations throughout Port Coquitlam.’
If your vehicle has been audited, enter to win a prize in the monthly prize draw! Bring your Crime Prevention Notice to one of our community police stations:
Mary Hill Community Police Office
2581 Mary Hill Road, Port Coquitlam
Coast Meridian Community Police Office
3312 Coast Meridian Road, Port Coquitlam
Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team’s (IMPACT) BAIT Car Program
A bait car is a vehicle of any type that is owned by the police and is intended to be stolen. It is parked in high auto crime areas and left there, sometimes for an hour, other times for days.
Once the vehicle is stolen, police are immediately dispatched to the moving bait car. The engine of the bait car is disabled remotely and the suspects are arrested. Everything said and done by the suspects inside the bait car is recorded on audio and video, which is used for court purposes.
- Always lock your bike up with a reliable locking mechanism
- Use bike stands when available
- Leave your bike in well-lit areas
- Take your bike to a Port Coquitlam Community Police Station to have it engraved with your drivers licence number (this will increase the chance your bike will be returned to you if it recovered after it has been stolen)
- Take a picture of your bike
For more information on how to protect your bicycle, visit a Port Coquitlam Community Police Service.
Identity theft is the unauthorized collection and use of your personal information to commit fraud or theft. Your name, date of birth or social insurance number may be used to open bank accounts or credit cards, rent vehicles or equipment, or secure employment.
Many of us think “it will never happen to me,” but thousands of people are victims of identity theft each year.
People can access your personal information by stealing your mail, purse or wallet, intercepting your garbage, committing ATM fraud, card skimming or using the internet.
Safeguard your identity:
- Do not throw away or recycle readable bank records or other personal information (shred or tear them up)
- Do not give out your credit card number or personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call
- Do not give out your PIN (Personal Identification Number)
- Use strong passwords on your credit cards and bank accounts and watch your statements and activity closely
- Minimize the number of cards and identification you carry on you
- Keep items with personal information in a safe place
- Don’t click on links or open attachments in emails from senders you don’t know
- Before clicking on a link or opening an attachment from a sender you do know, check the email address to ensure it is accurate. If you are still unsure, contact the sender to confirm or navigate independently to their website
- When using an ATM, look closely at the card slot and don’t use if it appears to have been tampered with
- Always shield your PIN number when paying by credit card or debit
If your credit card statements are missing, you notice purchases on them that you did not authorize, or you learn of a credit application that you did not make, then you may be a victim of identity theft.
If you think you are a victim of identity theft, notify your bank and credit card companies immediately and contact the police.
Mail theft can not be prevented entirely, but you can minimize the opportunities with the following steps:
- Know when your mail is usually delivered and pick up as soon as possible. Don’t leave mail in a community mailbox overnight
- If you are going on vacation, have a neighbour or friend pick it up for you or use Canada Post’s hold mail service
- Notify Canada Post of any open mailboxes
- Do not mail cash. Use postal money orders or cheques, or e-transfer funds via your bank
Marijuana Grow Operations
Marijuana grow operations are a significant problem in British Columbia and pose a serious risk to public safety when located in a residential setting.
Parking Lot Safety
Property loss and personal safety risks are associated with parking lots, particularly deserted ones. Protect yourself:
- Try to park in lots you are familiar with
- If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, find a different lot to park in
- Park in a well-lit area, near a light post if possible
- If possible, back into the spot
- Hide / remove valuable items before leaving your vehicle
- Park close to your destination, especially if it’s going to be dark when you return
- Check your surroundings to make sure it is safe before you get out of your vehicle
- When returning to your vehicle, walk in pairs or groups. For example, follow the crowd out of a store or movie theater
- Be aware of everything and everybody around you
- Have your keys in your hand before you reach your vehicle
- Carry a small pocket-size flashlight if possible
- Look inside your vehicle before entering
- Lock your doors as soon as you get into your vehicle and turn on your headlights
- If you see or notice any suspicious activity in the parking lot, don’t investigate yourself but instead contact security
Please refer to our Business Safety webpage here.
Mary Hill Community Police Station
2581 Mary Hill Road
Port Coquitlam BC V3C 4X3
Northside Community Police Station
3312 Coast Meridian Road
Port Coquitlam BC V3B 3N5
RCMP Main Detachment
2986 Guildford Way
Coquitlam BC V3B 7Y5