The city of Calgary has one of the highest – if not the highest – rates of vehicle theft in all of Canada, local police have reported.
Earlier this week, Calgary Police Service Insp. Joe Brar presented a report at the Police Commission meeting, mentioning that the municipality posted record vehicle theft numbers last year.
Brar revealed that, in 2017 alone, more than 5,700 vehicles were reported stolen in Calgary.
Police launched an initiative last month called Operation Cold Start to educate drivers about the consequences of leaving unlocked vehicles running in cold weather. Nearly 700 people were approached and advised over the two-week program, but Brar believes many people still do not get the message.
“A lot of these vehicles are being stolen as crimes of opportunity and what I mean is, if a vehicle is left running to warm up in the morning or if someone leaves their keys in the vehicle,” he said. “We’ve even seen things such as a car prowling where somebody comes across the key fob of a vehicle and comes back a few days after to steal it so anything we can do to prevent these thefts from happening decreases the number of stolen vehicles being driven on the street.”
“We’ve seen quite a bit of an increase in auto theft which correlates highly with the increase we’ve seen in property crimes as well. And what we are finding is that a lot of the stolen vehicles are being driven in a manner which is putting the public at risk,” Brar added.
reported that Calgary police are working on solutions to help prevent auto thefts – one of which is the enacting of a bylaw to ticket drivers who leave vehicles idling with the keys still inside.
“The police will continue their efforts in preventing vehicle thefts. For the public, the message would be to protect yourselves and protect your property like you would any other piece of property,” Brar mentioned. “We’re looking at all sorts of solutions and exploring different ways to help deal with this issue and we’ll work with other law enforcement partners and other agencies to come up with a solution that works for everybody.”
SGI considers handing out penalties to motorists who leave keys in vehicles that get stolen
IBC helps Edmonton police identify roughly $2 million in stolen auto parts