Car Theft Olympics: Canada Takes Gold in Stolen Vehicles!

Canada faces an alarming rise in car theft, with over 105,000 vehicles reported stolen in 2022—an average of one car every five minutes. This surge has affected ordinary citizens and high-profile figures, including the federal justice minister, whose government-issued Toyota Highlander XLE was stolen twice.

The situation has escalated to the point where the Insurance Bureau of Canada has declared it a “national crisis,” with insurance companies paying out over C$1.5 billion in vehicle theft claims last year alone. According to Interpol, authorities are grappling with this epidemic, which has placed Canada among the top 10 worst countries for car thefts. Since integrating their data with Interpol in February, Canadian authorities have detected more than 1,500 stolen vehicles worldwide, with approximately 200 more identified each week, typically at international ports.

Snippet from a Carjacking Incident

Once stolen, these vehicles often serve as tools for other crimes, are sold domestically to unsuspecting buyers, or are shipped overseas to be resold. The allure of specific car models on the global market makes auto theft a lucrative venture for organized crime groups, especially in light of the pandemic-driven car shortage, spiking demand for new and used vehicles.

Police across Canada have issued public bulletins on vehicle theft prevention. Meanwhile, residents have taken matters into their own hands, employing measures such as installing car trackers, hiring private security, and even setting up retractable bollards in their driveways.

Despite these efforts, the thefts continue unabated. The operations at Canadian ports, which focus more on incoming than outgoing shipments, exacerbate the issue. Once stolen cars are packed into shipping containers, they become difficult to trace. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has faced criticism for understaffing and outdated technology, which hamper adequate inspections.

In a notable effort to understand and combat the problem, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown visited the Port Newark Container Terminal in New Jersey to learn from U.S. inspection tactics. He observed that American authorities employ advanced scanners and density measures, techniques that Canada currently lacks.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown

The Canadian government has announced significant investments to bolster CBSA’s capabilities and support police efforts to combat auto theft. However, experts argue that car manufacturers must be more proactive in making vehicles tougher to steal. Despite enhanced security measures, determined thieves continue to find ways to circumvent them, leaving car owners frustrated and disheartened.

Pierre Poilievre highlighted the severity of the situation by noting that Canada’s car theft rates are surprisingly high, given the country’s relatively small population compared to the U.S. and the UK. “Canada also doesn’t have as many port cities as the U.S.,” he said. While Canada’s rate of car thefts per 100,000 people is close to that of the U.S., it surpasses the rate in England and Wales, making the country’s situation particularly dire.

Pierre Poilievre

Pierre Poilievre has also raised the alarm on this issue, particularly highlighting the car theft crisis in Brampton, Ontario. He has called for immediate action to address the escalating problem, urging the government to implement more robust security measures and support for law enforcement agencies.

As car thefts remain a persistent issue, Canadians are left to navigate a landscape in which securing one’s vehicle has become increasingly challenging and often disheartening.

Read Also: Gujarat Partners with Intel for AI Readiness: A Leap Towards Digital Prowess

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *