Most car security is inadequate. Thieves can break into and drive away with most models of vehicles in less than a minute. Research shows that kinds of thieves favour certain models because they have found ways to steal them easily. Many of these stolen vehicles will be used in other crimes and are often involved in police pursuits. These pursuits can become a safety risk to the public and the police officers involved.
Has your vehicle been stolen?
First, confirm it was stolen before calling police. In many cases, a caller has forgotten where they parked the vehicle, or the vehicle was towed because it was illegally parked or involved in a civil dispute. Call the Police Seized Vehicle Section at 780-496-8668 to see if your vehicle is there.
If your vehicle was legitimately stolen, the first step is to call the EPS non-emergency line at 780-423-4567 to start the process of filing a report.
Be sure to report the vehicle as soon as you discover it is missing. It takes no time to steal a vehicle and strip it of its parts before it’s shipped away, so timeliness in reporting is crucial to recovering your vehicle.
Tips to prevent Vehicle Theft
Do not leave your vehicle running - Under no circumstances should you leave your vehicle unattended while running with the key in the ignition. NOTE: Remote car starters are not a problem; they are designed to shut off if attempts are made to steal the vehicle.
No Spare Keys - Do not leave a spare key hidden in the vehicle. Thieves look for spare keys, and once they break into your vehicle, they know all the hiding spots. You can get a spare key holder for your wallet or purse.
Lock Up Your Vehicle - Always check that the doors, windows, and sun roof are shut and locked when you park your vehicle. Leave your vehicle in a locked garage where possible. Lock your vehicle even when it is in the locked garage.
Be aware of where you park - park in parking lots that have more than one of the following:
- Security cameras;
- Security patrolling the parking lot;
- Someone working at an entrance/exit booth;
- A gated parking lot that needs a pass to get in and out;
- Well lit;
- A busy parking lot with lots of people coming and going or an area where there are lots of vehicles or pedestrians passing by.
Treat Your Keys Like Cash – Don’t leave keys in places where they are easy to snatch, such as a gym locker, on your desk at work, visible in an open purse or unattended in a shopping cart. Thieves will grab and go, then head out to the parking lot and push the button on your key fob until they find your car.
Use a Steering Wheel Locking Device (e.g. The Club) - A well-secured car will deter thieves. There are other devices available to consumers to stop thieves from easily stealing your vehicle. See your local automotive stores for details.
Do not leave items in your vehicle - Thieves can be attracted to your car because personal items are left in plain sight. Never leave anything in your vehicle, including loose change, cell phones, CDs, cameras, clothing, sunglasses, cigarettes, lighters, and any other items.
Install a Remote Car Starter - Remote starters are designed to shut off if anyone attempts to drive the vehicle without a key. This will allow you to warm up your car without risk of theft.