This month we have heard about the stolen vehicle epidemic in Canada, which has been exasperated by police in Montreal allowing vehicles to leave the country without investigation. In Edmonton, authorities are describing the number of vehicles stolen in the city as “staggering”.
Indeed, Edmonton Police Service Det. Dwayne Karpo said car theft is so frequent that it is a daily problem in the city. Speaking at the recent Central Canadian Auto-Theft Association seminar, Karpo says between 12 and 15 vehicles are stolen in Edmonton each day.
Motorists appear to be giving thieves a helping hand as at least half of the thefts are of vehicles with the keys left in them. Shipping stolen cars out of the country is a major problem and in Edmonton that’s the reason for 70% of thefts, which Karpo attributes to organized crime.
“These vehicles are being stolen with a purpose … and its big money,” he said. “Unfortunately, Edmonton is the hot spot for the province.”
Like its capital, the province of Alberta has a whole has a major problem with auto theft. In fact, it has the highest rates of vehicle theft in Canada, with 536 cases per 100,000 people during 2017. Each year in Edmonton, 1,500 stolen cars are never recovered.
Thieves change identification numbers to sell the vehicle on, with major destinations including China, the Middle East, Africa, and even domestic locations.