Spike in auto thefts brings cops, car experts together in Mississauga to counter crooks


Published March 19, 2024 at 1:48 pm

Auto theft summit in Mississauga hosted by Peel Regional Police.

Police brass from various municipalities, government officials and auto sector partners will meet in Mississauga once again to brainstorm ways to better battle the fast-growing problem of car thefts — both in Peel and across Ontario.

Looking to dramatically reduce the number of stolen cars in Mississauga, Brampton, across the GTA and southern Ontario, the second annual Peel Regional Police Auto Theft Summit takes place Wednesday at the Hyatt Mississauga in the city’s north end.

Hosted by Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah and Peel Police Services Board chair Nando Iannicca, the gathering gets underway at 2:30 p.m. and welcomes police chiefs from across the GTA and Hamilton in addition to government representatives and auto industry experts.

They’ll talk about “auto theft and best practices to reduce it,” Peel police said in a news release, adding last year’s inaugural event was a success in developing ideas to fight the growing crime.

They hope to build on that success this year.

“Peel is at the forefront of auto theft as it continues to have the highest rates per capita (in Canada),” Peel police said earlier. “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.”

More cars are stolen in Mississauga and Brampton than anywhere else in Canada, and Peel police say they have stepped up efforts to change that.

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

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 earlier. Seeing the value that came from that event, the participants look forward to meeting again, police added.

On the heels of this week’s summit, Peel police will host another big event later in the spring 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, will take place May 6-9 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

The four-day event 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.

(Cover photo: CAA)

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