Caught on camera: Stolen Vehicles in Calgary

In 2016, there were 4,879 reported stolen vehicles in Calgary, up 51 per cent from the five-year average. One in four stolen vehicles were taken with the keys inside. Yesterday morning alone, fourteen vehicles were stolen that were left running with the keys inside.

Aside from the dangerous driving that often occurs when a vehicle is stolen, these vehicles are also known to be used as a means to commit robberies, break and enters and drug crimes.

Of significant concern is the impact stolen vehicles can have on both public and officer safety. To demonstrate this, Calgary Police Service is releasing HAWCS surveillance footage that shows offenders putting citizens, police and their own lives at risk. HAWCS is often used as the safest option to track stolen vehicles that are being driven in a dangerous manner.

Beyond the risk to public safety, each stolen vehicle requires a significant amount of police resources to track, recover, investigate and lay charges. In addition to the time spent on these calls by specialty resources including HAWCS, District Operations Teams and members from the Canine and Tactical Units, patrol officers are also involved in stolen vehicle investigations, preventing them from responding to other priority calls for service.

Citizens are encouraged to help reduce the impact stolen vehicles have on the community.
• Report suspicious people and activity immediately by calling 9-1-1 for a crime in progress.
• Never leave a vehicle running and unattended. Vehicles with push-button starts can easily be driven away if a thief gets into the vehicle. Not all vehicles are equipped with an immobilizer, which shuts off a vehicle if it is driven a certain distance away from the corresponding key fob.
• Install a remote starter if possible.
• Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
• Always keep your vehicle locked. Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle.
• Never leave children unattended in a running vehicle.

Post Source: Calgary Police Service