The Oak Bay Police Department reported 12 cases of stolen vehicles in 2018, a three-fold increase from the prior year.
Police say residents should be careful rather than concerned.
“Fortunately, theft of vehicles is not common in Oak Bay but drivers should still take steps to prevent it from occurring. It appears all but one of our stolen vehicles had keys readily accessible to the thieves,” said Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties. “Interestingly, when we look closer at the stats, this was an anomaly but also many weren’t ‘stolen’ in the traditional sense.”
Some of the vehicles were taken without consent — Bernoties cited a relative or friend taking a vehicle as an example. One of the stolen vehicles was a golf cart, while another was an electric scooter.
“All were recovered except one motorcycle and one car which was stolen with the keys in it,” Bernoties said.
An ICBC spokesperson noted leaving your keys in a vehicle would not normally impact the validity of your insurance.
“I don’t think it would normally invalidate your insurance,” said Lindsay Wilkins, ICBC senior communication specialist. “If we felt like it was suspicious we would obviously investigate.”