With 250,000 locals and visitors expected to leave their cars behind and take transit during the Games, police are taking steps to make sure auto theft doesn’t become an Olympic event.
Bait cars are being placed at 22 park-and-ride lots, five VANOC hubs and various training centres. Thieves will be caught red handed if they steal Olympic mittens left behind in a parked car or go for any of the electronics police plan to place on the seats.
“We are not going to sit back and allow you (criminals) to detract from people’s overall enjoyment of the Olympics,” said Sgt. Gord Elias of the Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT).
The electronic items, like GPS systems, cameras and laptops, will all be marked with tiny electronic beacons — MicroDots — that allow police to link the item with the break-in and serve as indisputable evidence in court.
“When our guests return home, we want them to leave with nothing but fond memories,” said B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed.
In addition to high-tech means, police will also have undercover surveillance teams at parking areas identified as “high risk,” while helicopters and K9 units will be ready to assist in arrests.
“In simple terms, where the cars are, IMPACT will be,” said Heed. He added, “you can’t outrun a German Shepherd.”