More cars stolen in Mississauga, Brampton than anywhere in Canada


Published September 18, 2023 at 10:24 am

More cars are stolen in Mississauga and Brampton than anywhere else in Canada, and Peel Regional Police are stepping up efforts to change that.

In addition to committing more money and manpower to combat a dramatic increase in auto thefts in recent years, particularly well-organized criminal theft rings that target luxury vehicles, Peel cops are also reaching out beyond their ranks for help once again.

Peel’s second annual Auto Theft Summit will take place next March 20 as police in Peel host other law enforcement agencies, government officials and auto sector partners — all with an eye toward significantly reducing car thefts both in Mississauga and Brampton and across the province.

Police say the inaugural summit, held earlier this year, was a success in developing ideas to fight the growing crime.

“Peel is at the forefront of auto theft as it continues to have the highest rates per capita,” Peel police said in a news release. “It is an issue that Peel Regional Police are investing in heavily to address through enhancements in investigative capabilities, enforcement and identifying innovative solutions and measures through multi-sector collaboration.”

The March 2023 summit marked the first time police, government and representatives from the auto sector met to discuss ways to combat auto theft, Peel police said.

Three sets of recommendations were agreed upon coming out of that summit, according to police:

  • invest in and enhance collaboration between police agencies
  • establish a multi-sector working group to identify solutions
  • raise public awareness and increase prevention campaigns

Peel police said they were encouraged to see that, following the summit, the fight against auto theft became more of a priority for government, auto manufacturers and the insurance industry.

A $51-million injection of cash from the Ontario government in May to provide new measures to help police identify and dismantle organized auto crime was a huge boost, police note.

More of the same is needed going forward, they add.

“As progress is being made, there is still much more work to be done to fully dismantle auto theft,” Peel police said in their release.

On the heels of that summit, Peel police will host another big event aimed at cracking down on car thefts — one with a broader, more international scope.

The 51st annual Vehicle Crimes Conference, staged by Peel cops in collaboration with the U.S.-based Northeast Regional Chapter of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), will take place May 6-9, 2024 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

In addition to luxury vehicles and SUVs, sports cars are among the favourite targets of car thieves. (Photo: Peel Regional Police)

Speaking at a press conference back in March after police had recovered dozens of Range Rovers and other luxury vehicles worth more than $10 million that were stolen from homes in Mississauga and Brampton and destined for the Middle East, Peel’s police chief noted car theft rings are a huge problem.

Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said at the time that car thefts are dramatically increasing, particularly in Mississauga and Brampton where the per capita rate is the highest in the country.

“To say auto theft is an epidemic across Canada and Ontario would be an understatement,” Duraiappah said.

Next May’s police conference will feature numerous guest speakers, workshops and other components all geared toward fighting the growing crime of auto theft in Peel, the GTA and southern Ontario, and across North America, organizers say.

The conference will have a key focus on preventing auto theft, insurance fraud and (related) crimes,” Peel police said. 

Meanwhile, Peel police announced recently that they’ve doubled their efforts to crack down on vehicle break-ins and thefts after a record-breaking year that saw more than 6,000 vehicles stolen in Mississauga and Brampton.

Stats from Peel police show there were 6,042 motor vehicle thefts in Mississauga and Brampton last year, eclipsing the previous year’s 4,119 thefts and nearly doubling the 3,062 thefts reported in 2019.

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