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The B.C. government says its bait-car anti-theft program has prevented the theft of 9,000 cars over three years.

Solicitor General John Les says that three years ago so many cars were being stolen in the Vancouver region that Surrey was dubbed the car theft capital of North America.

He says the government and police knew they had to do something and so they created one of the most successful auto-theft programs on the continent.

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Bait cars are rigged with cameras, sensors and global-positioning systems and can be shut off remotely when police move in to make an arrest.

Figures from the Insurance Corporation of B.C. show that since the bait cars hit the streets in 2004, auto theft has dropped 35 per cent in B.C., while vehicle break-ins are down 32 per cent.

From spring of 2003 to spring of 2004, 26,000 vehicles were stolen, but during the same period between 2006 and this past spring, the number of car thefts had fallen to 17,000.

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