CPS teams up with Équité Association to combat auto theft

provided by Cornwall Police Service
CPS teams up with Équité Association to combat auto theft
PICTURED: Deputy Chief Vincent Foy, D/Cst. Owen O'Reilly, Betty Ng, of Équité, Chief Shawna Spowart and Bryan Gast. (Photo : Cornwall Police Service)

The Cornwall Police Service (CPS) has partnered with Équité Association, a not-for-profit working to eradicate insurance crime on behalf of the Canadian property and casualty insurance industry, to combat and prevent auto thefts in the Cornwall area.

Équité will play a crucial role in this partnership. Through data and analytics, vehicle identification and coordinated investigations, the collaboration aims to eradicate insurance fraud and auto theft. To mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of auto theft, Équité recommends using a layered approach including simple steps like keeping doors locked, installing visible or audible anti-theft devices, using vehicle immobilizers, and investing in tracking systems.

In 2023, there were 160 motor vehicle thefts reported in Cornwall, compared to 164 in 2022, according to the department's annual report.

“The Cornwall area is particularly vulnerable to auto thefts, given our proximity to Montréal and Highway 401,” said CPS Deputy Chief Vincent Foy.

“In 2023, organized crime groups were believed to be involved in 82 occurrences involving stolen vehicles or attempted stolen vehicles,” he said. “This partnership will enhance our ability not only to prevent auto thefts, but also to enhance our investigations with the goal to continue making Cornwall a safer place.”

The CPS and Équité will work together to address auto theft investigations and recovery and also reach out to community through awareness initiatives. Vehicles stolen throughout the City of Cornwall have had an impact on our residents.

“With a vehicle stolen every five minutes in Canada, auto theft has reached crisis levels,” said Bryan Gast, VP, Investigative Services, Équité Association.

“The federal government’s recently announced National Action Plan on Combatting Auto Theft outlines comprehensive solutions, which include investments to support local law enforcement,” he said. “The problem of auto theft will not be fixed in isolation, which is why Équité Association continues to proudly support and collaborate with our partners in law enforcement, including the Cornwall Police Service, as we work together to ensure the safety of Ontario communities.”

Anonymous information can also be sent to Seaway Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

In 2022, more than 105,000 vehicles were stolen across Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Auto theft claims costs have surged by a record-shattering 524% across Ontario since 2018, with auto theft claims costs surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 2023.

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