As weather cools, auto thefts heat up in Alberta, RCMP say

RCMP in Alberta are reminding drivers to secure their vehicles as October and November are the busiest months for thieves.​

“Vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity,” Insp. Mike Lokken said in a news release Wednesday.

“We are still finding that at least 50 per cent of vehicle thefts in Alberta happen because the keys were inside or the car was left running.”

In 2017, week 42 was determined to be the most active week in the year for auto thefts in Alberta, RCMP say. (RCMP)

An average of 34 vehicles a day were reported stolen to Alberta RCMP detachments in 2017 up by 32 per cent from 2014.

Last year, the middle of October was the most active period for reports of stolen vehicles, with most reports filed Monday mornings at 8 a.m., RCMP said.

Up to the end of August this year, 6,667 vehicles were reported stolen to the RCMP, with  trucks making up 51 per cent of the total.

Steps to prevent auto theft suggested by RCMP:

  • Keep vehicle locked at all times
  • Always close windows and lock doors
  • Never leave vehicle running while unattended
  • Don’t keep garage door opener in vehicle, as it gives thieves access to your house
  • Don’t keep vehicle registration or other identification inside vehicle. These could be used to steal your identity
  • Park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic
  • Hide valuables, including loose change and electronic devices, from view
  • Keep shopping bags out of sight

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