Vehicles stolen in Halton recovered in Africa because Ontario plates still attached


Published October 3, 2023 at 6:52 pm

vehicle prowler crime Burlington police
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Vehicles stolen in Halton are being found in Morocco, often with Ontario plates still attached.

That’s the word from Halton Police Chief Stephen Tanner who told a recent police board meeting that a multi-jurisdictional effort is needed to curb the skyrocketing rates of auto theft that are earmarked for the African nation.

“We’ve recovered quite a number of stolen vehicles in Morocco and other places,” he said.  “They’re being sold over there with Ontario license plates still on them.”

Tanner said once in Morocco the vehicles are then usually shipped to markets in Europe and other parts of Africa.

Halton crime data from the first six months of 2023 shows that property crime increased by 13.8 per cent over the previous year which can be attributed to the auto thefts, said Tanner.

The police chief also expressed concern over the rise in home invasions where thieves are after car keys. He said this crime is already a serious problem in Toronto and growing in Peel Region and that it will only be a matter of time before it hits hard in Halton. He said in the past three weeks there have been autos targeted in home invasions that have taken place in Milton and Oakville.

Police data shows the increase in auto thefts. In the past five years, the number of stolen vehicles in the first half of the year has risen from 36 to 120 in 2023. The 2023 to-date total is 265 thefts.

Tanner went on to say that auto theft has become a national problem and more resources from federal agencies such as the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency are needed to combat the crimes.

The police chief suggested these agencies should beef up their presence in such places as the Port of Montreal where most of the stolen vehicles are shipped overseas.


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