Canada Has Become The "Car Theft Capital Of The World", Interpol Warns

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jul 11, 2024 - 01:20 AM

This summer, Interpol ranked Canada among the top 10 worst countries for car thefts out of 137, a "remarkable" achievement given Canada's data integration with Interpol only began in February, according to the BBC

After the cars are stolen, they are "either used to carry out other violent crimes, sold domestically to other unsuspecting Canadians, or shipped overseas to be resold," the BBC wrote. 

Since integrating the Canadian Police Information Centre's stolen vehicle data with INTERPOL's database in February 2024, over 1,500 stolen Canadian vehicles have been detected globally, Interpol wrote in May

The RCMP’s database, which tracks around 150,000 stolen vehicles, now helps identify over 200 stolen cars weekly, primarily at international entry ports.

The BBC noted that the Insurance Bureau of Canada declared car theft a “national crisis” after insurers paid out over C$1.5bn in vehicle theft claims last year. Police have issued public bulletins on preventing theft, while some Canadians are installing trackers and private security measures, such as retractable bollards.

Mississauga resident Nauman Khan, who started a bollard-installation business after experiencing theft, reports high demand for his services due to widespread car thefts. 

He told the BBC: “It’s been very busy. We had one client whose street had so many home invasions that he’d hired a security guard every night outside his house because he just didn’t feel safe.”

Despite its smaller population, Canada’s car theft rate (262.5 per 100,000) surpasses that of England and Wales (220 per 100,000) and is close to the US rate (300 per 100,000). The rise in thefts is partly due to a pandemic-driven car shortage and a strong international market for certain models, making auto theft lucrative for organized crime. Canada’s port system, which focuses more on imports than exports, also contributes to the problem.

In a press release, INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: “Stolen vehicles are international criminal currency. Not only are they used to traffic drugs, but also as payment to other criminal networks as well as fueling activities from human trafficking to terrorism.

“Sometimes overlooked, a stolen car is not just car theft. It is part of a major revenue stream for transnational organized crime. Through increased data sharing at the global level, we can better screen vehicles at border points, identify trafficking routes and arrest the perpetrators.”