Rising Rates: Canadian car thieves ‘more brazen’, says Équité Association, as nationwide theft rate rises

Toronto, Ontario — In its newly released 2023 Auto Theft Trend report, Équité Association shows vehicle theft in Canada continues to climb with a vehicle now being stolen every five minutes.

According to the report, “after the historically high auto theft trends in 2022, the data in this report illustrates the continuation of the national auto theft crisis into 2023.”

The report specifically outlines auto theft trends for Ontario and Quebec, Eastern Canada and Western Canada.

Source: 2023 Auto Theft Trend report, Équité Association.

In Ontario and Quebec, the provinces continue to lead private passenger vehicle (PPV) auto theft rates across the country. The provinces also have the lowest vehicle recovery rates of any province.

Notably, between 2021 and 2023, auto theft increased by 48.2 percent in Ontario and 57.9 percent in Quebec.

In the two regions, the majority of vehicles stolen were made in 2017 or newer with thieves and organized crime groups focusing their efforts on stealing new and luxury vehicles.

For Ontario, recovery rates sit at just 44 percent and 37 percent for Quebec.

Comparatively, in the Atlantic region, overall auto theft trends have increased by 34 percent between 2021 to 2023.

Here, the majority of thefts were vehicles made between 2010 to 2016 with sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and wagons being the most stolen vehicle type at a total of 40 percent.

In the Atlantic provinces, the recovery rate for stolen vehicles is 67 percent with most vehicles being recovered after another crime, such as arson, has been committed.

In Western Canada, automotive thefts have increased just 5.5 percent between 2021 to 2023, but Alberta experiences more auto thefts per capita than Ontario or Quebec.

In Alberta, 252 vehicles per 100,000 people are stolen in comparison to Ontario’s rate of 202 vehicles and Quebec’s rate of 169 vehicles per 100,000 people.

For Western Canada, the majority of vehicles stolen between 2021 and 2023 were made between 2003 to 2009, and trucks were the most commonly stolen vehicle type at 44 percent.

As a result, overall, the total number of vehicles stolen in Canada in the periods listed was 105,673 with auto theft losses tripling from 2018 to 2022 and reaching over $1.2 billion in 2022.


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