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Ontario police services rally together to stop auto theft


Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) have joined with other Ontario police forces to form a provincial auto theft unit to address the alarming rise of car thefts.

So far in 2023, there have been over 300 carjackings in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). These incidents are not standalone thefts; they are leading to violent crimes, including assault and homicides.

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Carjackings continue to prevail in Halton region, and perpetrators are getting sophisticated enough to completely bypass auto security measures in a matter of seconds.

More to that, those committing these thefts don't always wait for drivers to leave their vehicle unattended.

The region says they have been "working hard to find and punish perpetrators", which this month alone has resulted in the recovery of 25 stolen vehicles.

However, they also say "more needs to be done", which has led the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Toronto Police to create the Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force (PCJTF).

OPP and Toronto Police will be co-leading police services on this initiative, including Halton Regional Police. HRPS media relations officer Ryan Anderson said, "It is certainly a difficult job to police such a large area (Halton and the GTA); however, that is why the Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force has been established."

"Neighboring police services can work collaboratively to maximize enforcement efforts against criminal organizations involved in violent vehicle crimes who are operating within the GTA," Anderson continued.

"The PCJTF will be notified of violent auto crime occurrences taking place in each jurisdiction, which will then be investigated collaboratively by the respective service and the PCJTF."

With the demand for vehicles increasing, largely due to the chip shortage as a result of the lockdown, police have been pushed to take bigger steps in protecting car owners from theft. Guidelines from the HRPS website can be found here.

Police recommend the following as best practices when it comes to protecting your vehicle from theft:

  • Install an after-market GPS tracking device (this is currently the number one theft deterrent)
  • Park your vehicle in a locked garage
  • Block the exit of a potential target vehicle with a second vehicle parked behind it
  • Purchase and use a steering wheel lock device
  • Install an on-board diagnostic blocker/protector 
  • Install home security cameras on the exterior of the residence

Auto theft from organized crime accounts for billions of dollars in losses in Canada. Stolen cars aren't just taken for daily usage; they're often brought to Montreal before being shipped overseas for resale. Based on past auto theft cases, penalties for those committing auto theft crimes include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Theft of Motor Vehicle
  • Possession of Break-in Instruments
  • Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime
  • Possession of an Automobile Master Key
  • Theft over $5,000
  • Trafficking in Stolen Goods

Police encourage anyone who experiences auto theft or sees suspicious vehicles or people (unfamiliar, unusual, loitering) in their neighborhood to call 905-825-4777.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at

Call 911 if you witness a crime in progress.


Ben Brown

About the Author: Ben Brown

Ben Brown is a local news reporter from Oakville, Ontario, a graduate from WIlfrid Laurier University and a self-published author. His main focus is reporting on crime, local businesses and achievements, and general news assignments throughout town
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