Canada faces a billion-dollar vehicle theft crisis, hitting a new peak in 2022.
CFLA urges nationwide action against this organized crime-fueled epidemic.
The epidemic of vehicle theft in Canada has spiked, manifesting a billion-dollar crisis, according to a recent report by the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association (CFLA). On average, a vehicle is stolen every six minutes, with the issue spanning beyond city limits; in 2019, seventeen other metropolitan areas reported higher per capita vehicle theft rates than Toronto, indicating a widespread problem.
A disquieting increase of 300% in vehicle theft has been recorded in Toronto since 2015, making 2022 the most infamous year for auto theft. Despite the federal government’s 2010 enactment of the Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act, empowering the Canada Border Services Agency to detain suspected stolen property pre-export, the report exposes the necessity for more coordinated national efforts to deter these often violent crimes.
The report pinpoints organized crime at the heart of Canada’s vehicle theft crisis, with profits from these activities bolstering drug trafficking, firearm smuggling, tax evasion, money laundering, and even terrorism. CFLA President and CEO, Michael Rothe, stated, “Vehicle theft in Canada is rising exponentially, with organized crime becoming more adept at maintaining their revenue flow from stolen vehicles.”
Rothe emphasized the urgent need for public education programs on theft prevention, re-establishing provincial auto theft teams, and implementing protocols for reporting financed vehicles exported through identity theft. “Almost everyone I speak to has a story about vehicle theft, and our latest report proves it. We urgently need to develop recommendations to address it,” Rothe said.
In light of the severity of this issue, the CFLA’s report suggests a comprehensive range of strategies, including nationwide collaboration, to tackle escalating rates of vehicle theft. The need for immediate attention and collective action in response to this billion-dollar crisis is evident.