More than 12,000 vehicles — or 34 per day — were reported stolen to Alberta RCMP last year and typically, this is an active time of year this kind of crime in the province.
The 42nd week of the year is the most active when it comes to vehicle thefts in Alberta, the RCMP said Wednesday.
“Stolen vehicles are used to commit more property crime, to transport illicit goods and often become hazards on the road,” Supt. Peter Tewfik with the Alberta RCMP said.
“Anything citizens can do to prevent and deter vehicle theft will go a long way towards reducing crime overall.”
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What types of vehicles are being stolen?
From January to August of 2018, 6,667 vehicles were reported stolen to Alberta RCMP, with 51 per cent of the vehicles being trucks.
Cars make up for 15 per cent of the vehicles stolen in Alberta, followed by SUVs at 11 per cent and motorcycles at three per cent. Minivans make up two per cent of the vehicles reported stolen in Alberta, while 18 per cent are classified as “other” vehicles.
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In total, 12,362 vehicles were reported stolen to Alberta RCMP in 2017.
Where are vehicles being reported stolen?
The majority of vehicle thefts in Alberta are reported to the Red Deer RCMP detachment. In 2017, the Red Deer detachment recorded 1,562 stolen vehicle complaints.
The rest of the top 10 breaks down as follows:
- Grande Prairie: 685
- Leduc: 561
- Stony Plain: 413
- Airdrie: 379
- Sylvan Lake: 354
- Wood Buffalo: 333
- Blackfalds: 329
- Lloydminster: 315
What time are vehicles being stolen?
In 2017, the most active time for vehicle thefts was at 8 a.m. on Monday mornings, according to the RCMP.
What can be done to prevent vehicle theft?
While the number vehicle thefts so far this year has dropped from the same time in 2017, there’s been an overall increase since 2014, RCMP said.
In 2014, 8,359 vehicles were reported stolen to Alberta RCMP, while last year that number increased by 4,003 to 12,362. The RCMP urge people to do what they can to protect their property.
Never leaving your keys inside your vehicle is a good place to start, officers say. At least 50 per cent of stolen vehicles in Alberta have had the keys inside, according to RCMP analysis.
RCMP also recommend the following:
- Keep your vehicle locked at all times
- Always close windows and lock all doors
- Never leave your vehicle running while unattended
- Don’t keep your garage door opener in your car. This could give thieves easy access to your house and valuables
- Don’t keep vehicle registrations and other ID in the vehicle. They are used to steal your identity
- Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic
- Hide valuables like loose change and electronic devices from view
- Keep shopping bags out of sight
RCMP say theft from inside vehicles is also a concerning issue in Alberta. Between January and August of this year, RCMP in Alberta have received 7,409 reports of thefts from vehicles.