01/31/2013 05:36 EST | Updated 04/02/2013 05:12 EDT

BC Bait Car Program: New Tactic Aims To Lure Thieves With Gadgets

VANCOUVER - For a decade, police in B.C. have used bait cars and other vehicles to catch auto thieves, now they're planting bait property inside vehicles to nab smash-and-grab crooks.

The bait car program, in which vehicles are rigged with video cameras, GPS systems and remote ignition locks, has been in use in B.C. since 2003, and police say it has helped reduce auto theft by 73 per cent during that time.

Now, they're moving to tackle thieves who break into cars and steal everything from wallets to toolboxes.

Police say GPS devices planted in property left in bait vehicles will help lead them to the thieves.

The top items stolen from vehicles include smartphones, laptops, tools, credit cards, ID and stereo equipment.

The move to bait property comes after police noticed a slight increase in thefts from vehicles in B.C. in the last four months of 2012.

Police also released a list of the province's top 10 car thieves:

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