Record number of vehicles stolen in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills in 2023

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Published January 5, 2024 at 3:41 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

Almost 1,700 vehicles were stolen in Halton Region last year.

Data from the Halton police crime map shows the theft of cars and trucks jumped again across Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills in 2023 indicating a dramatic trend that has been difficult for law enforcement officials to curb despite several arrests.

Since 2018 vehicle thefts have jumped a whopping 268 per cent in Halton from 461 to 1,695 last year.

Here is a yearly breakdown:

  • 2023 – 1695
  • 2022 – 1167
  • 2021 – 765
  • 2020 – 466
  • 2019 – 481
  • 2018 – 461

Statistics show that this past December was the busiest time for thieves with 187 vehicles taken throughout the region.

Breaking down the numbers shows Oakville was the hardest hit last year.

In 2023 Oakville residents were the targets 855 times. Burlington is next on the list with 459 auto thefts followed by Milton at 316 and 65 in Halton Hills.

Combatting the thefts continues to be a priority for Halton Regional Police and there have been several high-profile takedowns of theft rings including the recovery of 25 vehicles in October after a lengthy investigation by the Auto Theft Task Force. Another operation in November recovered 17 vehicles that were being stored in a Burlington warehouse. Several arrests have been made.

According to Police Chief Stephen Tanner, the recovery rate for stolen vehicles in Halton is about 50 per cent, as he explained to local officials during budget discussions late last year.

At that time Tanner explained that many vehicles are recovered locally as the organized rings will store them in the hope there will be a “cooling off” period immediately after the thefts in the expectation that their whereabouts are no longer a priority.

As well, many vehicles are recovered in the Port of Montreal where they usually end up before being shipped to awaiting markets in Africa and the Middle East.

While criminals are mostly opportunists willing to take what is easy to steal, recent local trends show they are becoming bolder in their pursuits,  Last year there were more than 20 incidents where the thieves broke into homes to steal the keys of high-end automobiles parked in the driveway.

Halton police intend to step up their crime-fighting efforts this year with more officers assigned to auto theft enforcement.

Tips on how to protect your vehicle can be found here.

 

 

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