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New police unit launched to fight auto theft after 774 incidents in 2023

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The Windsor Police Service has announced the launch of a new initiative that aims to reduce auto theft in Windsor and Amherstburg after 774 incidents last year.

The Windsor Police Auto Theft Unit aims to establish important new partnerships and public awareness initiatives to protect our community and prevent car theft.

An expansion of this team includes three full-time dedicated police officers, two of which were a result from grant funding, who will work directly with local car dealerships and other stakeholders to raise awareness of auto theft and equip people with the knowledge to better protect themselves and their vehicles.

In 2023, a total of 774 vehicle thefts and attempt vehicle thefts occurred in Windsor and Amherstburg – an increase of 7.4 per cent from the previous year.

The Auto Theft Unit will also partner with Équité Association, a not-for-profit organization that investigates insurance crime, and additional law enforcement agencies, and other invested companies to provide enhanced training related to current and future vehicle technology.

“Auto theft remains a growing issue that impacts our community,” said Staff Sgt. Susan Garrett-Bural, who will oversee the unit. “However, many of these thefts can easily be prevented with additional precautions. Our members will work to increase awareness to help make vehicles more secure and less susceptible to being stolen.”

The enhanced Auto Theft Unit is supported through a $900,000 grant from the Government of Ontario. The funding is part of the Preventing Auto Thefts grant program, which allocated $18 million to 21 police services across the province.

“I’m proud to see the Windsor Police Service being recognized with one of the 21 Preventing Auto Theft grants province-wide, for their work to stop criminals in their tracks,” said Andrew Dowie, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh.

How to protect your vehicle from theft?

  • Lock your vehicle doors, even if you’re only stepping away for a short time
  • Park in a well-lit area or garage when possible
  • Store key fobs in a secure area far away from the vehicle, or in Faraday bags
  • Use a steering wheel or pedal locking device.
  • Invest in outdoor security cameras for your home.

For more information contact the Auto Theft Unit at 519-258-6111 ext. 4810 or at autotheft@windsorpolice.ca, To report an auto theft, call 519-258-6111.

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