Car break-ins & property crime, Vancouver
The one bad moment during our trip came during a visit to Stanley Park. We parked our car for no more than 15 minutes, just to walk a bit and take a few photos. We returned to find someone jimmied the lock and broke into the car. Luckily it seemed like a quick snatch and grab so they didn't get away with much, but please take care when leaving your car in this area.
Ok, everybody knows from previous tips on the subject.
There has been a spike in car break-ins in and near Queen Elizabeth Park-yes, the one with the fantastic views and gardens. QE is probably one of the most visited parks/gardens in Vancouver.
I have lived in Vancouver all my life and travelled a bit and NEVER had my car broken into. Why? Well, I never leave anything in the car and make sure the glove compartment, arm rest and ASH TRAY compartment are open. I emphasize the ash tray because most people leave coins in there. It only takes $10 worth of change to give the thief/drug addict the next hit. The only thing between them is a piece of glass. Also, I try to park in the most visible and high foot traffic spots.
I constantly see cars with suction cups from GPS sticking on their window, bags, laptops and even trash left in vehicles......yes, trash-most of these thieves are drug addicts and can't tell the difference between what's valuable and what's not.
If you are staying in a hotel, 99.9999% of the time they are not responsible for your car being broken into. You are paying the hotel or property mngt. company for rental of the parking spot only. The lots may be "patrolled" once in a while but they are not Fort Knox nor would they have somebody standing right next to your car 24/7.
If you are from out-of-state and drove to Vancouver, make sure to park in a place where there is traffic of people. Don't park your car at the back of buildings especially downtown. Make sure to park your car where there are many people around.
Most of the offenders in Vancouver seem to like to break in to cars that have licenses from Washington state or USA license plates.
Most of the offenders break the windows of cars and steal whatever is inside your car. Don't leave purses, bags, camera bags even if they are empty in your car where it can be seen. The reason why is that the offenders think that they have "stuffs" in them.
I live in Vancouver & love the city. But others are correct in saying that petty crime is a big big problem. I see a lot of visitors to our city, both friends and work colleagues, and I've seen many of them have things stolen. One had some possessions stolen mere minutes after he arrived, at Vancouver Airport! Nowhere is safe from petty theft. Nowhere. These are the tips I offer my friends.
1) Watch your stuff. Never ever put a bag down & then turn away. Make sure you're always holding it, standing on a strap, have it sitting on your toes, etc. But never lose eye or physical contact with your bag.
2) Don't bring it if you don't need it. Your hotel room is safer than the trunk of your car. So wherever possible, if you're not going to need an item, don't bring it with you. Don't bring it "just in case". Think about what you'll need, and only bring those items, nothing more.
3) Here's the big tip. A common mistake visitors make is to drive somewhere, park, grab a few things, toss everything else into the trunk, and walk away. Wrong! You just allowed someone to watch you put things into the trunk & then they saw you walk off. You'll come back 20 minutes later to discover the trunk's empty & your possessions are gone. I personally know of 4 people who have lost possessions in exactly this way.
The right thing to do is plan ahead. Before you drive somewhere, think about where you're going & what you'll need. Then, *before* you drive off, put the extra stuff in the trunk. That way, when you arrive at your destination, you don't need to open the trunk. Just park & walk off. Nobody at your destination sees you loading goodies into the trunk; your risk of having your vehicle broken into is vastly reduced.
This planning ahead is second-nature for most Vancouver locals; most don't even realise they do it. But it's foreign to most visitors and requires a little bit of thought, at least the first time or two.
I wish you a fun visit to our beautiful city. Just be careful with your possessions. I hope these tips help.
Simple tips that even a *** can remember.
- Don't leave anything in your car even if you think it isn't of any value. Socks are valueable items to people who don't have any.
- Lock your doors.
- Arm your alarm
- Don't drive like an ***.
Everyone says stay away from Hastings and Main Streets at night....this is where a lot of the drugs/crime are.
Most of the crime is of the vehicle/property damage & theft.
If you hire a car make sure you lock things in the boot or belongings are out of sight....if not - you may be sorry
We were warned that if you are driving in from the US and your car has US plates it will get broken in too. We didn't listen of course. The rental vehicle was busted into within 10 mintues of parking it!
On the plus side, there is very little violent crime.
There have been cases where people have opened the passenger side door of your car and have taken off with your purse. Be careful! It's not a common occurence...but it can happen...so just take the extra precaution and lock your doors.
If you plan to drive a car during your trip to Vancouver, be aware that the city has a very high car breakin rate.
While you probably won't get broken into, you don't want to take any chances. You can slim down your chances by
a) locking your doors when you leave your car
b) parking your car in a well-lit, frequently-visited parking spot
c) keeping all your valuables (and non-valuables) hidden from view when your car is parked.
Yes, even if your car is only going to be parked for one minute, make sure any bags, CD's or objects are well hidden. The high car breakin rates seem to fall hand in hand with Vancouver's drug addicted population, as the drug addicts will do anything to get their hands on a few coins or dollars. All it takes is a gym bag, or a CD in your car, and it's worth the risk for them.
I don't want to make the situation sound worse than it actually is, (for instance, I've lived my life in Vancouver and have never had my car broken into - knock on wood!), but I find that many visitors here are unaware of the risks they're taking when they leave things visible in their car, when they leave their car doors unlocked and when they park around Vancouver's skid row.
If you follow the 3 rules above, you'll find you'll have no trouble.
Vancouver is one the safest cities in the world but it doesn't mean that Vancouver does't have any crimes. Apart from its beauty and life style, Vancouver also have a dark side. Downtown east side is famous in Canada for drug dealing so it is advisable not to go there at night time. When visiting Vancovuer, you must lock your car properly and don't leave anything inside the car because Vancouver has one of the highest rate of break and enter in the country.
While Canada has a relatively low violent crime rate, Vancouver does boast the unfortunate distinction of being the property crime capital of Canada.
Yes, there is a big heroin problem in the Lower Eastside, which means that there are some pretty desperate people looking to smash and grab just about anything they can pawn for a few bucks. Chances are you won't be harmed, but you should be very careful about where you park your car and what you leave visible for passersby.
If you have the option of leaving your packed bags in a hotel room or at a friend's house, do that. Any shopping bags, backpacks, luggage or other signs of valuables being left in your vehicle will almost certainly warrant a breakin.
And don't think the insurance you bought at the car rental place will cover any stolen personal effects, either. That insurance is for any damage to the car, but you're S.O.L. for replacing your clothes, souvenirs and/or belongings if they're ripped off from the car.
Yes, Vancouver is a wonderful place -- perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world -- but that doesn't mean we don't have our negative aspects. Be cautious and don't leave your stuff visible or unattended.
Vancouver is a fairly safe city - especially in comparison to most US cities, but you still need to be careful of a few things. Auto breakins are very common - do NOT leave valuables in your car. I have known people to have had their cars broken into for pocket change.
Also, do not assume that your belongings are safe in hotel lobbies - I work in a hotel, and they are popular spots for theives to hang out in - waiting for someone to put down their suitcase or laptop and wander away from it.
Area wise, most of Vancouver is pretty safe, even at night, although be very careful when going out in Gastown as just south/east (by one block) is our Skid Row - populated with many of the city's junkies and bums. (The worst area is along Hastings Street, east of Cambie, to Main Street, and the surrounding alleyways)
Is you drive to Vancouver, do NOT leave anything in your car. It's a great city, but also a favorite of druggies and other negative types. Therefore the property crime is out of control. People have had their car windows smashed in high-traffic (ostensibly secure) areas downtown - for nothing more than the parking meter change left sitting in the ashtray. Rate of breakins is 3 times as high as a comparable US city like Seattle, and out-of-province license plates are favorite targets.
If you find yourself near this rather colourful building, you might want to hang on to your valuables