The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) reports a surge in car thefts, with over 1,800 vehicles stolen in 2023, up from 1,289 in 2022. Although approximately half of the stolen cars were recovered, the police acknowledge the need to address organized crime exploiting loopholes. Chief Eric Stubbs reveals that stolen vehicles from Ottawa are often redirected to Montreal, and despite successful interventions, individuals arrested for auto theft are being reused by organized crime.
Efforts to combat the issue include collaboration with provincial partners and proactive patrolling in key areas. Barrhaven, a neighborhood in Ottawa, is particularly affected, prompting local officials to advocate for increased action. The absence of a dedicated auto-theft unit since 2017 is being addressed through the creation of a new intelligence officer position. Notably, criminal organizations are reportedly recruiting young individuals with no criminal records, exploiting lenient punishments for juvenile offenders.
The federal government plans a national summit on auto theft, acknowledging the issue's widespread nature. The summit, scheduled for Feb. 8, aims to bring together provinces and industry representatives to address the growing problem of stolen cars being shipped abroad. Despite existing laws and tracking protocols, criminal groups reportedly send stolen cars to the Middle East and Africa or use them for local crimes before destroying the vehicles. The article emphasizes the need for coordinated efforts to close existing loopholes in the fight against rising car theft rates.
The technology in cars is struggling to keep up with thieves and until there is a major haul, all cars will be at major risk of being stolen in matter of minutes.
Tried and true solutions such as an aftermarket CAN Immobilizer like the CAN Phantom allow you to deter theft as each car with a CAN Phantom fitted cannot start and/or drive without a sequence that is setup by the vehicle's owner.