A vehicle is now being stolen every 5 minutes

A vehicle is now being stolen every five minutes, according to a new study from Équité Association. The 2023 Auto Theft Trend Report is the association’s latest study, released on Feb. 6, and highlights that things are getting worse following a historically high increase in 2022.

The continued auto theft crisis has more than 80% of Canadians now concerned about the increase in crime in their community. Based on the study, auto theft trends between 2021-2023 jumped sharply in Ontario (up 48.2%), Québec (up 57.9%), Atlantic Canada (up 34%), and in Western Canada (up 5.5%).

“Canadians are feeling vulnerable and the majority of us are especially concerned about personal safety and the safety of our communities,” said Terri O’Brien, President and CEO of Équité Association, in a statement. “Criminals are becoming more brazen and are increasingly resorting to violence as witnessed by the significant increase in carjackings and owner-interrupted thefts.”

Auto theft continued to increase in 2023, rising 7.1% in Ontario and 5.1% in Québec year-over-year (YoY). Most of the vehicle thefts in Ontario (68%) and Québec (75%) were models manufactured in 2017, or newer. The most popular vehicle type to be stolen is the SUV: 55% in Ontario and 64% in Québec.

In Atlantic Canada, sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and wagons are the most stolen vehicle types (40%). Vehicles stolen in Halifax, NS, are typically destined for export out of the Port of Halifax, while in New Brunswick the belief is that they are being stolen to commit another time — due to the high recovery rates (67%). In Western Canada, trucks are the most stolen vehicle type, with 44% of all stolen vehicles in Alberta being trucks.

However, the association also notes that there is a concerted effort to manage the crisis, a federal government announcement of $121 million to help combat auto theft in Ontario, and an upcoming National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft.

That summit happens tomorrow in Ottawa. Look for coverage in upcoming issues of Canadian auto dealer’s e-news with comments from participants.

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