Protect your pickup with an ignition immobilizer, say police

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PENTICTON - RCMP are warning owners of big pickup trucks to pay more attention to securing their vehicles because thieves are still targetting them over nearly every other vehicle on the road.

Penticton RCMP Supt. Ted De Jager says officers were successful in arresting a number of people involved in pickup truck theft last week, but thieves will likely continue to steal pickups without an ignition immobilizer.

De Jager says higher weight rated pickups — three-quarter and one-tonne units — are generally classified as commercial pickups, and often aren’t equipped with ignition immobilizers.

“We still have a big issue with that. Owners of those types of vehicles should have an active immobilization system like the club, or a passive system. If your vehicle doesn’t have it, you should have one installed. It’s a lot cheaper than your deductible,” he says, adding standard half ton pickups are usually equipped with an ignition immobilizer.

“We’re trying to get the public to realize perhaps your $80,000 investment is not best protected by a piece of glass and a door lock,” De Jager says.

De Jager says vehicle owners should also remember not to leave their key in a place easily accessible to thieves.

“If your vehicle is equipped with an ignition immobilizer, they won’t be able to steal it without a key, so don’t leave it nearby,” he says.

The immobilizer is an electronic security device, fitted to a vehicle to prevent the engine from starting unless the correct key or token is present. They can be purchased on ebay for as little as $40.

Overweight models of trucks, particularly Fords, consistently lead the province in vehicle thefts by model. 

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