A shopper at Clearview Market Square in Red Deer walks past two idling truck in the parking lot. File photo

Vehicle theft down by 36% in Red Deer so far in 2018

Vehicle theft is down in the City of Red Deer so far in 2018, compared to 2017 numbers.

The overall decrease in vehicle thefts from Jan. 1 to Wednesday was 36 per cent, compared to numbers from last year. The number of stolen motor vehicles reported to the Red Deer RCMP in 2017 was 1,301, and that figure is 825 so far in 2018.

Although, there’s a month to go, Staff Sgt. Christopher Peden expects the end-of-the-year number will still be lower than 2017’s.

“At the rate we’re going, I would anticipate we would still have a decreased number overall, based on our month-to-month results,” he said Thursday.

Peden welcomes the decrease, but said there’s more work to be done.

“An overall decrease of 36 per cent – that means some of our efforts and efforts of the community are being effective. So obviously there’s still work (to be done). There’s 825 vehicles taken this year to date, but we’re making headway,” said Peden.

The number of cars reported stolen in 2017 was 290. So far in 2018, that number is 181 – a 37 per cent decrease.

The number of reports of stolen trucks, vans and SUVs in 2017 was 873. So far this year, the number is 546 – another 37 per cent decrease.

Reports of motorcycle theft this year are down to 33 from 2017’s 47 – a 23 per cent decrease.

For quads, ATVs and similar vehicles, the number is down to 35 so far this year, compared to 50 in 2017. The decrease works out to 30 per cent.

The number of motor vehicles taken without consent – but not stolen – was 41 in 2017, and down to 30 in 2018, which is a 26 per cent decrease.

“It’s motor vehicles taken without consent. That means the registered owner had provided consent in the past, but they went and took the vehicle without consent, so they had the keys and they were familiar with it,” Peden explained.

He said the decrease is a result of public education to protect their property and Red Deer RCMP’s pinpoint strategy – targeting crime hot spots around the city.

“We’re using data-based analysis to direct where our efforts are going. In doing so, we’re targeting prolific offenders, and prolific areas in relation to property crime.”

With winter weather upon us, Peden encourages the public to be cautious.

“Keeping the vehicles running with the keys in the ignition, is giving opportunity to individuals to take (your vehicle).”


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