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HomeBreaking NewsGlobal crime rings are ‘targetting’ Canada as auto thefts rise, officials say

Global crime rings are ‘targetting’ Canada as auto thefts rise, officials say

'Quick read' news summary

International crime rings are “targetting” Canada and orchestrating auto thefts across the country, including in Toronto, officials have told Global News.

In 2022, auto thefts overtook break-and-enters as the second most prevalent crime in the city, jumping up to 9,439 incidents from 6,518 in 2021, according to police data. That’s a 44.8 per cent increase.

Despite multiple police operations resulting in hundreds of cars retrieved and dozens of arrests, the thefts persist in the city since they are organized abroad, Global News was told.

Toronto city councillor Mike Colle represents a midtown ward in the city where he said residents have been increasingly worried about thefts, and wheel locks that were once popular in the 1970s have made a return in a hope to deter thieves.

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Wanting to take action, Colle set in motion the creation of a police task force to investigate the thefts, but he said the real problem lies in how easy it is for the cars to be exported out of the country, netting huge profits for thieves.

“(This goes) way beyond Toronto’s borders,” he said.

There has also been a rise in carjackings in Toronto. According to police, 229 carjackings were reported in 2022, up from 102 in 2021. Earlier in 2022, Toronto Maple Leafs player Mitch Marner himself was a victim of a carjacking.

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Bryan Gast is a VP with Equité Association, the investigative branch of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which has been a major player investigating car thefts in Canada. Gast told

International crime rings are “targetting” Canada and orchestrating auto thefts across the country, including in Toronto, officials have told Global News. In 2022, auto thefts overtook break-and-enters as the second most prevalent crime in the city, jumping up to 9,439 incidents from 6,518 in 2021, according to police data. Bryan Gast is a VP with Equité Association, the investigative branch of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, which has been a major player investigating car thefts in Canada.

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