Auto theft is big business in Canada. Vehicles are stolen for parts, export and simple crimes of opportunity. A professional auto theft organization can strip a stolen vehicle in a matter of hours, doubling or tripling the profits realized selling the parts. Big ticket parts include onboard electronics such as navigation systems and airbags. “Due to the reality that current customs inspection efforts focus mainly on imports – not exports – and the help of the internet, the “stolen for order” vehicle is not limited to port cities. A desired vehicle can be stolen anywhere, and with the assistance of conspirators, loaded into a container and shipped out of the country within a matter of days without much fear of detection”, states Ron Bain, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.
According to Statistics Canada, a vehicle will be stolen before you finish reading this article. On average, 400 vehicles are stolen every day. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), car theft costs Canadians about $1.2 billion a year in out-of pocket-costs including deductibles, added health care, court and legal costs.
Although auto theft has decreased over the past years, this trend will not continue. Auto theft is based on basic supply and demand. Law enforcement officials across Canada suggest that the demand for stolen vehicles is growing, creating a shift in the curve so severe, thieves will invest in added technologies required to combat advanced automotive security systems.
Auto theft is an all encompassing crime: joy riding, high speed police chases, drive-by shootings, carjackings, theft for profit (i.e. stealing and sending overseas, re-VINning, odometer rollbacks) and organized crime. It is a threat to our community's well-being and creates an environment of lawlessness.
Beginning in 1998, Ken Haywood had a vision of centralizing all our resources and creating an information based website to help prevent auto theft. Today Auto Theft Canada is an updated version of his original vision that continues to unite all industries that are affected by auto theft: automotive, insurance, police and the consumer.
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