08
March
2018
|
18:15
America/Denver

Lock It Or Lose It - Calgary

Vehicle Thefts on the Rise—AMA & CPS say it’s time to Lock It or Lose It

Alberta leads the country in vehicle thefts, accounting for more than a quarter (29 per cent) of all thefts in Canada, according to the most recent Statistics Canada’s Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. That’s almost 23,000 motor vehicles stolen – more than three times the national average and a whopping 62 vehicles a day. Calgary Police Services (CPS) reported more than 5,700 stolen vehicles in 2017, approximately 16 per day.

AMA is calling attention to this growing concern with Lock It or Lose It, a new public awareness campaign in partnership with local police services. The campaign encourages people to be mindful of vehicle theft and the simple steps they can take to prevent it – remove the keys, hide or remove all valuables, and lock it up!

“The rise of vehicle thefts in Alberta is staggering and, in many cases, we can do much more to prevent it,” says Jeff Kasbrick, vice president of government and stakeholder relations at the AMA. “Unlocked doors or keys in the ignition are an open invitation for thieves to steal your vehicle. Lock It or Lose It is a reminder to take simple steps to curb vehicle theft and take away the welcome mat for thieves.”

Theft from vehicles (under $5,000) is also a concern. In 2017, CPS reported over 13,000 incidents. While that’s a decrease of four per cent from 2016, the numbers are still far too high with 36 thefts occurring every day. Beyond valuables taken from vehicles, items with personal information, such as insurance papers and vehicle registration are a target and open the window to identity theft and fraud. Garage door openers and keys left in the vehicle can also increase the risk of home burglaries.

“Vehicle theft can have far-reaching consequences,” says Inspector Joe Brar of CPS’s Service Investigative Operations Section. “Every stolen vehicle represents a significant risk to Calgarians. Not only do we see these vehicles being driven like loaded weapons, in many cases offenders are also driving away with a substantial amount of personal information about the victim. We’re pleased to partner with AMA to help show the public that a stolen vehicle is more than a minor inconvenience and an insurance claim.”

Lock It or Lose It is an initiative designed to increase Albertans’ awareness of vehicle theft and to arm them with some crime prevention tips. People are encouraged to spread the word and share their stories using the hashtag #lockitorloseit.

“We want people to get into the habit of locking their vehicles, removing all valuables and taking their keys with them,” says Kasbrick.” Even if you think you’re only stepping out for a moment, a lot can happen. It’s just not worth the risk, let alone the headache.”

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Infographic can be downloaded at the top right. Videos can be downloaded below.