1,200 more cars stolen last year in Mississauga and Brampton than in 2021


Published January 13, 2023 at 10:01 am

More than 5,300 cars were stolen in Mississauga and Brampton from Jan. 1, 2022 through Nov. 30, an increase of some 1,200 vehicles from all of 2021, police report.

The significant spike in auto thefts has prompted yet another warning from Peel Regional Police that residents should not help crooks do their thing by leaving their cars running while they step into a convenience store or leave it unattended for some other reason.

A minute-long video posted by Peel police to social media today (Jan. 13) urges people to do all they can to protect their cars from thieves.

The video shows a woman leaving her vehicle running while she quickly runs into the store. When she comes out, of course, her car is gone in what police refer to in the post as a “warm-up theft.”

Such thefts “continue to happen with these colder temperatures,” police warn.

Peel police Const. Heather Cannon then appears in the video to summarize the series of events, noting that it could have easily been avoided.

“By leaving your keys in the ignition and your car running, it’s the easiest way for someone to take your car,” Cannon says in the video. “Even if you’re coming into the store for just a quick second, thieves are quicker.”

Cannon urges drivers to instead turn off the car and take their keys with them into the shop.

“What you want to do is take your keys out of the car, you want to lock it, pocket and you want to stop it from happening,” she said.

The latest Peel police statistics show that from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2022, 5,315 car thefts were reported in Mississauga and Brampton. That averages out to 483 per month and was a dramatic increase (1,656 more car thefts) over the 3,659 such thefts during the same 11-month period in 2021.

There were 4,119 car thefts in Peel in all of 2021, police stats show, up from 3,376 in 2020, 3,062 in 2019 and 3,094 in 2018.

Police say most car thefts happen in the following areas:

  • large, remote parking lots
  • shopping malls
  • GO train stations
  • movie theatres
  • airports
  • residential driveways and unlocked garages

Motorists can do the following to help prevent car thefts:

  • avoid leaving a running car unattended
  • ensure to always lock car doors and roll up windows
  • consider using anti-theft devices
  • lock your garage door
  • avoid storing valuables or packages in open sight inside vehicles (place them out of sight, in the trunk or bring inside the home)
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