Interpol identifies over 1,500 stolen Canadian vehicles worldwide since February

The issue of auto theft in Canada has gained international attention, with more than 1,500 vehicles stolen in Canada being identified by police forces around the world since the RCMP started sharing data with Interpol in February. According to a statement from Interpol, Canada has emerged as one of the top ten source countries for stolen vehicles out of the 137 countries sharing data. Many of the stolen vehicles, particularly high-value models such as SUVs and crossovers, are shipped to the Middle East and West Africa, where they are traded or resold.

In response to this growing issue, the federal government has taken steps to address auto theft, including providing funding to Interpol's joint transnational vehicle crime project. This funding is being used to enhance information-sharing and investigative tactics to locate and retrieve stolen vehicles and parts. Last month, an operation in West Africa led to the recovery of 65 stolen vehicles, some of which were from Canada.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada has called auto theft a national crisis, with 105,000 vehicles stolen across the country in 2022 resulting in $1.2 billion in insurance claims. Ontario saw a 329% increase in auto theft claims between 2018 and 2022, totaling $700 million in insurance claims.

To address this issue, the federal government held a national summit in Ottawa in February, bringing together representatives from provincial governments, insurers, and automakers. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced $28 million in funding to help the Canada Border Services Agency improve its ability to search containers leaving the country.

LeBlanc, along with Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez, CBSA, and RCMP officials, are scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee to give evidence for the committee's study of car thefts in Canada. The issue of auto theft in Canada continues to be a pressing concern, with efforts being made at both the national and international levels to combat this criminal activity.


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