Monday, June 17, 2024

Police start door-to-door auto theft prevention campaign after 3,300 vehicles are stolen in York Region

York police announced a multifaceted crime prevention campaign targeting high-end auto thefts in the region.

Operation Auto Guard will incorporate a robust crime prevention campaign into ongoing enforcement efforts, which includes data-driven solutions, targeted community engagement and the give away of crime prevention tools to help citizens avoid becoming victims of vehicle theft, police stated in a news release.

Constable Maniva Armstrong says York police has seen an almost 50 per cent increase in vehicle thefts compared to this time last year and around 200 per cent compared to 2019. This year alone, close to 3,300 vehicles have been stolen so far.

“Our crime analysts have compiled data from across the region, specifically focusing on the south end, including the Cities of Markham, Richmond and Vaughan, identifying neighbourhoods that are prone to vehicle thefts and the top five vehicles most often targeted, which include: Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX350, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Ram 1500 and GMC Yukon,” Armstrong stated.

“Officers will be going door-to-door in these neighbourhoods to educate residents and provide them with crime prevention information and Faraday bags, an effective tool that blocks signal-duplicating devices used to replicate key fobs. Faraday bags are also available at each district station for pick up by citizens,” Armstrong added.

A video showing several ways thieves steal vehicles can be found at the end of the post.

This campaign begin last week with York police attending a number of key locations including: Vaughan Mills Mall, Hillcrest Mall, Promenade Mall, Canada’s Wonderland, Richmond Hill Legion and various gyms.

The Operation Auto Guard includes a multifaceted approach with community forums hosted in each district and crime prevention pamphlets. Armstrong says that 21,000 Faraday bags will be distributed across the identified neighbourhoods in Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham.

A social media campaign will also be employed to promote crime prevention tips and community awareness relating to auto thefts. Crime Prevention Unit officers will leverage existing relationships through the Neighbourhood Watch Program and other partnerships, to disseminate this information across various social media platforms.

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