The number of vehicle thefts reported in Canada is alarming, and Calgary is no exception. According to statistics from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), auto theft was up six per cent across the country in 2017. New Brunswick tops the lists with a 28 per cent increase, followed by Ontario with a 15 per cent increase, Quebec, up seven per cent, and Alberta, up six per cent — the highest per capita increase in Canada.
On many occasions, vehicle thefts are crimes of opportunity. Thieves find vehicles with the keys left inside and take off. In other circumstances, vehicles are stolen so the perpetrators have transportation to conduct other crimes such as break-ins. In a growing number of cases, theft rings target specific vehicles that are quickly sold to out of country buyers, and these buyers are looking for trucks. In 2017, nine of the top ten stolen vehicles in Canada were Ford Super Duty trucks.
“They’re of real value,” John Tod, national director of the IBC’s Investigative Services told CBC News. “We’re seeing them going over to Africa, over to the Middle East and to some extent down to the Caribbean countries as well,” said Tod.
According to the IBC, New Year’s Day is the most common time for vehicles to be stolen across the country, mostly because cars are filled with gifts.
It only takes a matter of minutes to steal a vehicle so here are some tips to reduce the risk of falling victim to thieves.
- Don’t leave your vehicle unattended and running.
- Don’t leave your keys or key fobs unattended.
- Don’t leave valuables visible on the seats.
- Park in a well-lit area, ideally in a garage and make sure the garage door is locked.