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Edmonton police release ‘hot spots’ for car theft in city, downtown tops list

Edmonton police have launched a campaign aiming to raise awareness of car thefts in "hot spot" neighbourhoods. Paul Rampersaud / Global News

Edmonton police are launching a new campaign aimed at increasing community awareness in neighbourhoods that have the highest vehicle theft rates.

The campaign will see large signs posted in nine neighbourhoods in the city meant to remind people to be more careful.

“We need all communities to be more vigilant about protecting and securing their vehicles,” said Sgt. Smith from the West Division Crime Management Team.

READ MORE: This is the list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada

Those neighbourhoods targeted by the campaign were chosen after police examined the data of theft rates from Jan. 1, 2019 to Nov. 30, 2019:

  • Downtown core (78 vehicles stolen, 378 thefts from vehicle)
  • Garneau (27 vehicles stolen, 188 thefts from vehicle)
  • Belvedere (68 vehicles stolen, 65 thefts from vehicle)
  • Alberta Avenue (67 vehicles stolen, 128 thefts from vehicle)
  • Strathcona (41 vehicles stolen, 167 thefts from vehicle)
  • Summerside (41 vehicles stolen, 56 thefts from vehicle)
  • Killarney (46 vehicles stolen, 68 thefts from vehicle)
  • Inglewood (34 vehicles stolen, 60 thefts from vehicle)
  • Westmount (17 vehicles stolen, 75 thefts from vehicle)
Police have released a list of communities considered to be ‘hot spots’ for vehicle thefts. Edmonton Police Service

City wide, between those dates there were a total of 3,638 vehicles stolen, and 7,302 thefts from vehicles.

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Police officers also compared the statistics over the last five years, and said those correlated with the hot spot list as well.

READ MORE: If the area feels unsafe, pin it on a new City of Edmonton app

There have also been recent issues with smart keys, said Smith.

“It appears that storage of these fobs within vehicles is often an issue,” he said. “It’s very easy [for thieves] to try the vehicle ignition button to see if the vehicle responds, even if no key is visible, in hopes that the vehicle will engage due to a hidden fob.”

There were also 54 stolen vehicles that had been left running with a key inside.

READ MORE: Theft of vehicles left to warm up or idle unattended on the rise in Edmonton: police

Police said malls, parking lots, and parkades also continue to be primary targets.

“They are often left unattended with poor lighting thus increasing the chances that thieves will go undetected,” Smith said.

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Edmontonians who have thefts from their vehicles can report online. For non-emergency crimes like a stolen vehicle, use the EPS non-emergency line: 780-421-4567.

Click to play video 'Theft of vehicles left idling on the rise in Edmonton' Theft of vehicles left idling on the rise in Edmonton
Theft of vehicles left idling on the rise in Edmonton – Nov 6, 2019