The Ford government is allocating $18 million to efforts to reduce vehicle thefts in Ontario, with Hamilton receiving $895,000 over three years. The funds will be used for surveillance and tracking devices, as well as training for police officers to tackle auto theft. Hamilton MPP Donna Skelly stated that these measures would also target organized car theft, foster partnerships with local car dealerships, and bring other auto organizations on board to push preventative measures. According to solicitor general Michael Kerzner, car thefts have increased by 31%. The city of Hamilton reported a 12% increase in car thefts by mid-2023, with close to 200 high target vehicles taken. Some of the high target vehicles include Ford F-150s, Dodge Durangos, Toyota Highlanders, and others on a specified list. Car doors are no longer sufficient to deter car theft, as thieves are using sophisticated technology to steal vehicles. Peel Region is identified as having the highest per capita number of stolen vehicles in the province.
In addition, the practice of ‘revinning’ is a growing trend in auto theft. Criminals are changing a vehicle’s identification number and reselling it closer to home. This has resulted in a 300% increase in car thefts in Canada, with the VIN being altered and the cars being sold on online marketplaces and even ending up at dealership lots. Aviva, a major worldwide insurance company, has warned that those who purchase stolen vehicles may lose their car and not receive any legal recourse or compensation from insurance, so it is important to conduct thorough searches before purchasing a vehicle.
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