Steep rise in reports of stolen vehicles in Montreal
Montreal police have released new statistics showing a steep increase in car thefts in recent years.
Police say there were 9,591 vehicles reported stolen in 2022, which is double the number in 2020.
Fernando Pinzon is all too familiar with the crime.
In June 2021, he says his Honda CRV was stolen right outside of his LaSalle home.
"A lot of shock, a lot of anger. A bit of fear as well because it violates your property, your security," Pinzon said of the feelings at the time.
He said Montreal police eventually tracked it down to a shipping container in the Port of Montreal. He got the car back, but in August, just two months later, it was stolen again.
"We didn’t think it would happen again, to be honest," he said.
The most recent stats from Montreal police show car thefts have taken a major jump.
For 5 years, starting in 2016 when there were 4,411 cars reported stolen, the number of stolen vehicles was relatively stable but it jumped to 43 per cent in 2021. In that year, 6,527 vehicles were reportedly stolen.
STOLEN VEHICLE REPORTS IN MONTREAL
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Montreal police say the majority of thefts end up with cars being shipped out.. given Montreal’s proximity to the port.
It's hardly a surprise for Charles Rabbat, who works for Sherlock Antitheft Marking Inc.
"It’s much more lucrative. They can get $15-20,000 dollars more for a luxury car in the U.S. when they land anywhere in eastern Europe," Rabbat said.
He recommended drivers should invest in at least four layers of protection — from a steering wheel bar to engraving their vehicle.
He also advised making sure drivers have an onboard diagnostic (OBD) lock.
"It’s very, very popular because they cannot have access to your computer directly, they cannot put back the mileage. They cannot copy your keys without getting into your computer," he said.
Given the price of cars, it’s unlikely the number of thefts will drop anytime soon.