Canadians increasingly concerned over rising level of auto theft

The latest survey from the Équité Association found that Canada’s auto theft situation is only getting worse, with 84 per cent of Canadians now concerned about the increase in crime within their community. The report notes that many provinces have experienced rising private passenger vehicle thefts year-over- year, when considering January to June 2022 versus 2023.

“The majority of Canadians are clearly worried about how this alarming increase in auto theft will impact the crime rate in their communities, and they are especially concerned for their personal safety and the safety of their families,” said Terri O’Brien, President & CEO of Équité Association, in a statement.

The association’s first half of 2023 Auto Theft Trend Report, which covers the period from January to June, indicates that the number of auto thefts in Ontario during this period jumped 31 per cent (15,044 thefts). In Québec, that number is 7,831 (up 17 per cent during the same period), and 910 auto thefts in Atlantic Canada (up 10 per cent for the first half of 2023).

“Canada continues to be a source nation for stolen vehicles with organized crime exporting stolen vehicles through the Port of Montreal or re-VINing for domestic resale. Profit margins are high and worth the low risk of consequence for criminals,” said Équité Association in its report.

The association also added that most of the vehicles that are stolen are 2019 and newer, mainly new/luxury vehicles that can help criminals maximize their profits in overseas sales. The recovery rate in Ontario is 46 per cent and 38 per cent in Québec. The national vehicle recovery rate is 57 per cent.

“The Greater Toronto Area has been particularly affected by auto theft. In Toronto alone, auto thefts have increased 34.3 per cent year-over-year in the first half of 2023,” said Équité Association, adding that “data from York Regional Police services have seen an 82 per cent increase in auto theft when comparing the first half of 2023 to 2022.”

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