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Vehicle thefts on the rise in Edmonton

For Immediate Release: 14-Feb-2024 @ 10:52 AM
MRU #: 24R012

The Edmonton Police Service Targeted Response to Auto Theft Prevention (TRAP) teams have been kept busy over the past year with the city experiencing a steady increase in auto theft.

“We see mainly two different motives when it comes to auto theft,” says Acting Staff Sgt. Ian Strom with TRAP. “Some vehicles are being stolen and used locally for crime, while others are being shipped overseas for profit.”

In 2021, the number of vehicles reported stolen to EPS was 3,744. That number rose to 4,381 in 2022 and 4,714 in 2023, representing a 26% increase over the last three years. Auto theft numbers across the country are on the rise, and although western Canada has not experienced the same theft numbers as the eastern provinces have, Edmonton remains a hotspot for overseas shipments.

As vehicle theft increases, authorities are also experiencing a decrease in the number of stolen vehicles they are able to recover. “Équité Association reports show a decreased recovery rate in Western Canada from 84% in 2022 to 77% in 2023, and this is consistent with what we’re seeing in Edmonton” says Acting Staff Sgt. Strom. “Vehicles being stolen and shipped overseas contribute to this reduction in stolen vehicle recovery.”

In 2023, TRAP made 490 arrests resulting in over 1,700 criminal charges and the recovery of over $18,000,000 in stolen vehicles and equipment.

“We are also experiencing an increase in violence and crime associated with accused persons from stolen vehicle arrests. In 2023 alone, TRAP teams seized 35 firearms and over $110,000 in illicit drugs from stolen vehicles,” says Acting Staff Sgt. Strom.

One of the major contributors to vehicle theft in Edmonton is citizens leaving their vehicles running and unlocked. As the EPS continues to combat the growing auto theft problem, citizens are reminded not to leave vehicles running unoccupied.

Anyone with information about auto theft or any other crime is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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For media inquiries please contact the EPS Media Relations Unit at mediarelations@edmontonpolice.ca.