Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Winnipegs affected by car thefts.

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Winnipeg police recorded 3,660 vehicles stolen in the city in 2023, a slight decrease from 3,749 in 2022. But this toll remains higher than that of 2028 to 2021.

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Owners of stolen cars in Winnipeg are hoping for tougher penalties for thieves after a federal government-hosted auto theft summit was held in Ottawa this week.

Victims of car theft hope that the possible solutions discussed during this meeting will help discourage car thieves.

Morgan Lepak remains uncompromising on the subject, having had her car stolen on February 1 in the parking lot of her workplace, just a few minutes after arriving at the office.

I couldn't believe it. I returned to my work. I checked my purse…. My keys are there, and there was no other key in the vehicle which was locked, she explains.

I think we need harsher penalties for people who do that, because now I don't have a car anymore, she maintains.

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Another Winnipeg resident, Danny Fischer, also believes tougher sentences are a solution. His van parked in front of his house was stolen on the evening of February 2. If the Winnipeg Police Service found his van, however, the belongings left inside are missing.

My son and I parked the truck in front of the house between eight and nine the night before….. We came out at 11:30 the next day. We noticed that he was missing, explains Danny Fischer.

According to the sergeant of the Financial Crimes Unit of the Service of Winnipeg police, Trevor Thompson, the car theft problem is different in Winnipeg than it is in other jurisdictions.

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The Winnipeg Police Service says it is tracking national trends and finds that in other jurisdictions, thefts from these vehicles are largely done without the keys, using technology – intercepting transmissions between the key fob and the vehicle, explains Sergeant Thompson.

He specifies that in Winnipeg, more than 90% of motor vehicle thefts are crimes of x27;opportunity, and the vast majority of them are vehicles stolen using the owner's keys or key fob.

To discourage criminals who steal cars, the federal government announced its intention to increase the severity of penalties at the opening of the Ottawa summit on February 7.

An intention to which the Minister of Justice of Manitoba, Matt Wiebe, seems favorable. I heard they were considering mandatory minimum sentences. These are measures that I think will help.

We're calling on the federal government to take action in areas it controls, whether it's working with manufacturers or working with border services.

A quote from Matt Wiebe, Manitoba Minister of Justice

The latter, however, recalled that Manitoba does not face the same problems with organized crime as other provinces with regard to vehicle theft.

He wants to make sure this kind of thing doesn't infiltrate Manitoba by emphasizing the need to understand exactly what causes car theft here in Manitoba.

Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth, also president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, attended Thursday's summit. He warned that harsher sanctions are not always the solution.

For example, most of the time it is young people who are involved in flight, and I think we have to be measured against that, warns Mr Smyth.

According to industry data, auto theft increased by 50% in Quebec and 48.3% in Ontario in 2022.

Faced with the scale of the phenomenon, the federal Minister of Public Safety, Dominic LeBlanc, announced financial support of $28 million to limit automobile theft in the country.

An amount of $5.9 million will support Canada Border Services Agency officers who inspect containers, and $4 million will go to the development of new technologies.

In an interview on the show Le 6 à 9, Benoit Charette, columnist and editor-in-chief of the Annual of the Automobile, explains that the vast majority of vehicles are sent for export. Many go to Africa or the Middle East by boat.

Vehicle theft is becoming sophisticated and the profile of thieves is changing, deplores an expert. BROADCAST HERE FIRST. From 6 to 9.

Vehicle theft is becoming sophisticated and the profile of thieves is changing, laments an expert

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Geographical position of Winnipeg, which is far from the ports, could partly explain the lower frequency of vehicle thefts compared to other provinces.

With information from Josh Crabb

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