SGI is reminding people to never leave their keys in their vehicle with their latest public awareness campaign.
SGI says about 50% of vehicle thefts in the province are due to this issue.
Penny McCune from SGI said stolen vehicle claims cost about $24.5 million in 2017.
“The buggest issue we have is traffic safety, these vehicles are not being stolen anymore for joy-riding, they are being stolen and crimes are being committed,” McCune said. “People are driving impaired, recklessly, putting everyone at risk as far as safety goes.”
Marlo Pritchard, Weyburn Police Chief and from Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police said many thefts can be prevented.
“Often, it’s a crime of opportunity and the thief will move on,” Pritchard said. “We’re really encouraging members of the public to take the keys out of the vehicles, make our communities safer, the highways safer, this is preventable, we can reduce these numbers.”
Vehicles are also left in rather poor condition in most cases, with about half of stolen vehicles ending up as total losses.
Darcy Koch from Regina Police said vehicle theft is a daily occurrence in the Queen City.
“It’s one of our highest crime trends that we have in the City of Regina and this kind of campaign, working with the partners we have and working with the community who are the victims of these crimes to address these issues is what we’re doing, and I think it’s definitely the right way to go.”
SGI says there is a wide array of vehicles stolen, with trucks being most popular, and that thefts happen year-round, with a slight uptick in the late summer and early fall.