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Edmonton seminar aims to reduce high rate of vehicle thefts

A frame of video depicts an Edmonton man discovering a would-be thief in his vehicle and attempting to drag him out. Supplied

Edmonton police are holding a two day seminar starting Wednesday to learn how to reduce vehicle thefts.

The Central Canadian Auto-Theft Association seminar tackles an issue that’s become a massive problem in Alberta.

The Statistics Canada Uniform Crime Reporting survey suggests Alberta has three times the national average of vehicle thefts, with 62 vehicles stolen each day in the province, which is 29 per cent of all vehicle thefts in Canada.

READ MORE: Edmonton police charge 96 people with 457 auto-theft related charges in 2018

So far this year, the Edmonton Police Service’s Tactical Response to Auto-theft Prevention team has laid 457 charges related to auto thefts against 96 people.

Police say stolen vehicles are often used to commit crimes.

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“Utilizing our intelligence resources, we have identified a clear relationship between stolen vehicles and other types of crime,  such as drug trafficking, residential and commercial break and enters, robberies, and home invasions,” Chief Rod Knecht said. “By working together, we have a higher chance of successfully preventing auto theft.”

READ MORE: Collision with stolen vehicle leads to citizen’s arrest in north Edmonton

The annual seminar brings together insurance investigators, adjusters, appraisers and law enforcement agencies to better prevent and investigate vehicle theft.

The focus is on vehicle theft awareness, identification of critical issues, cooperation and sharing of information, encouraged networking and professional development through education and training.