WINNIPEG (CP) _ The Manitoba government will soon make it
tougher for car thieves to find something to steal.
Under a plan that kicks in Sept. 1, cars on Manitoba Public
Insurance's list of 150 high-theft-risk vehicles that are stolen and
then recovered won't be allowed back on the road until they're
equipped with an a free electronic engine immobilizer.
Once an immobilizer is installed, the car starts only with the
owner's key or special code. When someone tries to start the car
without the key or code, the immobilizer cuts power to the starter,
ignition and fuel supply.
The second part of the Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) plan is
aimed at used-car dealers selling high-theft-risk vehicles; they
won't be permitted to allow a car off the lot until it has a free
``It's really a matter of having something and putting a fence
around it,'' said MPI spokesman John Douglas.
Manitoba has a chronically high auto theft rate, one of the
highest per capita in Canada. Douglas said one reason is that
Manitobans tend to hang on to their cars longer, and in many cases
the older cars are more attractive to young thieves.
More than 6,000 used cares are brought into Manitoba for resale
each year because they can be more easily sold than in Ontario or
Douglas also said the move comes as many vehicles are being
``There's a surprisingly large number of Manitobans who have
their vehicles stolen once but don't act to protect them. With this,
the pool of potential targets is decreased.''
Last year, 7,360 vehicles were reported stolen. A total of 1,571
had been stolen at least once before, and of those 302 had been
stolen twice before. Ninety-nine vehicles had been stolen more than
three times previously.
Repeat thefts cost premium payers $6.5 million in 2005.
For autos not on the high-risk list, Manitoba Public Insurance
provides immobilizers for $140. Any vehicle with an immobilizer also
earns a $40 annual insurance discount.
(Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg Sun)