In Surrey, British Columbia, the Integrated Municipal Provincal Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) consists of twenty-two specialized police auto theft investigators from seven police forces in the Greater Vancouver Area. The team was created to develop innovative strategies to reduce car crine in British Columbia. They’re currently working on four major initiatives: the Bait Car program, Automated Licence Plate Recognition, the stolen vehicle Enforcement Team and Stolen Vehicle Identification.
Of these, perhaps the most dramatic is the Bait Car. A bait car is a vehicle owned by the police and is intended to be stolen. (While they started with cars, they’ve since expanded to motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, and watercraft.) After a bait car is stolen, the location, speed, and direction of travel of the vehicle is monitored by police dispatchers at EComm through GPS tracking. Everything that takes place inside the bait car is caught on audio and video. The dispatcher will coordinate a police response and once officers are in position behind the bait car, the engine will be disabled at the click of a mouse button which allows for the quick arrest of the car thieves.
They have posted several videos on their web site, including some very disturbing images of thieves operating under the influence of crystal meth. Every video posted will make you glad that programs like this are underway.