This year marks some unfortunate news for Calgary car owners. A report presented to the Calgary Police Commission announced that Calgary Vehicle Theft rates are the highest in the country. Insp. Joe Brar explained that an average of 111 vehicles are stolen weekly in Calgary.
What is it about Calgary that’s got the car theft rates through the roof? Well, one of the answers is actually pretty Canadian. There are a number of reasons, but according to CBC News, Brar explained to the Commission that a big factor is Calgarians leaving their running vehicles unattended.
More specifically, Calgary’s brutal winters have got locals starting their cars and then leaving them running to warm up. Brar said the car theft rates could be dramatically decreased if Calgarians are able to get out of this habit. Easier said than done in the midst of a harsh Alberta winter.
According to CTV News, almost 7000 vehicles were stolen or attempted to be stolen in Calgary in 2018. Though 2019 has shown a small improvement, it has not improved significantly enough for police to stop their mitigation efforts. CPS Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley told CTV News that there are a number of other reasons car theft is so prevalent in Calgary. For instance, break-and-entries, robberies, or the drug trade. Cars are also being stolen right from dealerships.
CBC News outlined that 15% of the vehicles stolen in Calgary had the keys inside. Looks like Calgarians aren’t exactly making it hard for carjackers. On the flip, 85% for thefts were from stolen keys during home break-ins or gym locker thefts or ignitions that had been tampered with.
The Calgary Police Service is committed to combatting these disturbing numbers. According to CBC News, they will be allocating resources based on crime trends. In addition, the commission even discussed the possibility of banning leaving cars running with keys inside. Now that would be a game-changer.
With Calgary Transit's recent budget cuts, we've got to be protecting those cars. No one likes driving a freezing cold car, but it’s also not great having your car stolen. Looks like Albertans need to pick their poison this winter.