Edmonton – As the weather cools, auto theft heats up.
In a recent RCMP analysis, the 42nd week of 2017 was the most active in terms of reported auto thefts in Alberta RCMP detachments. That is why, in October and November, RCMP detachments across the province will be working with peace officers and local volunteer community groups to remind citizens to secure their vehicles, and to remove valuables and registration out of sight.
“Stolen vehicles are used to commit more property crime, to transport illicit goods and often become hazards on the road. Preventing auto theft is key to our Crime Reduction Strategy and we have seen a decrease in theft of motor vehicles between 2017 and 2018. Anything citizens can do to prevent and deter vehicle theft will go a long way towards reducing crime, overall.”
– Supt. Peter Tewfik, Officer in Charge of Crime Reduction Strategies, Alberta RCMP
“Vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity. We are still finding that at least fifty percent of vehicle thefts in Alberta happen because the keys were inside or the car was left running.”
– Insp. Mike Lokken, Detachment Commander Stony Plain/Spruce Grove/Enoch RCMP
“Stolen vehicles are used by criminals to commit all types of crimes. By simply locking your car, you are making a difference in keeping our communities safe.”
– Garth Kohlsmith, President, Alberta Citizens On Patrol Association
- In 2017, an average of 34 vehicles per day – a total 12,362 vehicles – were reported stolen in Alberta RCMP detachments. This figure is up 32% from 2014 when 8,359 vehicles were reported stolen.
- Last year, the 42nd week of the year was the most active period for reports of stolen vehicles.
- Last year, Monday mornings at 8:00 am were the most active period for reports of stolen vehicles.
- From January to August of 2018 – 6,667 cars were reported stolen in Alberta RCMP detachments. The most popular vehicle type during this period? Trucks at 51%.
- During the same period, Alberta RCMP received over 7,000 reports of theft from a vehicle.
These are simple steps citizens can take to prevent auto theft.
- Keep your vehicle locked at all times.
- Always close windows and lock all doors.
- Never leave your vehicle running while unattended.
- Don’t keep your garage door opener in your car. This could give thieves easy access to your house and valuables.
- Don’t keep vehicle registrations and other IDs in the vehicle. They are used to steal your identity.
- Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic.
- Hide valuables like loose change and electronic devices from view.
- Keep shopping bags out of sight.