The Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team (IMPACT) and the BC RCMP are warning potential snowmobile thieves that “Bait sleds are everywhere” and, just like with a Bait Car: steal one and go to jail.
Throughout the peak winter season especially; police detachments from across British Columbia will be deploying Bait Sleds to help combat thefts that can significantly impact the rightful owner of the vehicle.
“Snowmobiles have evolved over the years where some are now as expensive as entry level automobiles,” says Inspector Peter Jadis, Officer in Charge of IMPACT. “Their theft can be a huge loss to the rightful owner and our program is designed to both prevent thefts and capture criminals.”
Kris Clark, media relations for the Southeast District of the RCMP, told the Trail Times that Bait sleds are also used in the Trail-Castlegar area.
“The program is active across B.C. and includes your region.”
Similar to other Bait vehicles, if a sled is stolen police are able to remotely track it in order to recover the snowmobile and arrest those responsible for its theft.
“The Bait Sled is another great tool we use to combat auto crime. It works as both a deterrent as well as enforcement,” says Cpl. Tom Blakney of the Revelstoke RCMP. “Enforcement isn’t really the key goal though, as prevention can have even bigger long-term effects.”
Thefts are often crimes of opportunity and proper education of snowmobile owners in basic theft prevention techniques can go a long way in helping them protect their property and make their sled less attractive to thieves.
• Park your vehicles in well-lit areas with good visibility and lots of pedestrian traffic
• Mark your sleds with an identification number
• Invest in anti-theft devices for both your tow vehicle and snowmobile
• Record all identifying information on your equipment including sleds, trucks and trailers and keep it separate from your machines
• Securely lock all of your equipment
“Possessing a stolen sled is also a criminal offence,” adds Cpl. Blakney. “Help us combat crime in your area and report stolen property to your local police or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers.”
Proper documentation can help any sled owner, especially when it comes to returning recovered property that had been stolen.