OPP: Increase in stolen vehicles across our region

OPP cruiser and police tape

THE COUNTIES, Ontario -  The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) across East Region, which includes SDG, is investigating several thefts of high-end and newer motor vehicles.

There number of incidents is increasing, involving vehicles which are equipped with keyless starting fob systems. The thieves will use electronic devices to enter the vehicle, start the engine and leave with it within minutes. The push-start/keyless vehicles are more frequently targeted as thieves can override their electronic ignition systems with hand-held devices.

The OPP is recommending the installation of a steering wheel lock bar to deter thieves from stealing vehicles and driving away with it, even if they are able to start the engine. Parking vehicles within your garage when able, installing outdoor camera systems, motion lighting and watching out for suspicious people/vehicles in your neighbourhood could prevent you from becoming a target.

The OPP also wants to remind citizens that an unlocked door or an open window is an invitation to thieves. The "Lock It or Lose It" program reminds drivers to always:

  • Roll up their vehicles' windows
  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Lock their doors
  • Pocket their keys

Auto thefts cost Canadians more than $1.2 billion every year. About half of all stolen vehicles are used to commit another crime or are driven - often recklessly - for simple purposes of transportation (this is called 'destination theft'). In these cases, the thieves take advantage of owner negligence by grabbing the first vehicle they can find that's been left unsecured.

In most others cases vehicles are stolen by thieves involved in organized crime rings.

"This OPP is committed the finding those responsible for ongoing vehicle thefts across eastern Ontario," said Detective Staff Sergeant Chad Culbert of the Community Street Crime Unit.

Anyone having information on the above incidents or any other crime is asked to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or you can submit a TIP online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.