Auto theft is a serious problem across Alberta. Vehicles are stolen for several reasons
- For use in other criminal activities
- For parts
- For export in black market trades
- For transportation
- For resale to unsuspecting buyers, using a false vehicle identity
Over the course of 2016, 4,865 vehicles were stolen in Edmonton, a 41% increase from the 3,453 vehicles stolen in 2015.
Incidents of auto theft have remained high in 2017, with 3,085 thefts from January through September, similar to the 3,076 thefts that occurred during the same time period last year.
Many stolen vehicles had keys left inside.
Every year, people are injured or die as a result of auto theft. When it’s in the hands of a thief, a stolen car is like a loaded gun.
Stolen vehicles are a threat to public safety and a drain on police resources. Stolen cars are also frequently used to commit other crimes, particularly drug trafficking, break and enters and robberies.
Stolen property, drugs and weapons are routinely recovered from stolen vehicles.
Auto theft is not a victim-less crime. Auto theft costs Canadians millions each year, when you consider health care, policing, legal, and out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles.
It takes very little time for a professional thief to steal a vehicle. Here are some tips to help you avoid being an auto theft victim
1 Lock your vehicle. If left unattended, activate any security systems.
2 Close windows and sunroof when leaving your vehicle unattended.
3 Don’t leave your vehicle running, if unattended – even for a second.
4 Park in a well-lit area.
5 If parking in the same lot, park your vehicle in different spots each time.
6 Distractions can happen – always make sure to take your keys with you.
7 Don’t leave valuables in your vehicle. If you can’t take them with you, lock them safely out of view.
8 If you have a garage, park inside. Make sure to keep vehicle and garage doors locked.
9 When at home, don’t leave your keys by the front door. Keep them in a safe place away from entranceways.
10 Don’t leave ownership and insurance documents in your vehicle. Take them with you.