Project Attire in Ajax Monday talking of dramatic rise in car thefts

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Published June 24, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Car thieves

Representatives from Project Attire were in Ajax Monday speaking with the community about the rise in car thefts in the region, with the number nearly tripling over the past five years.

Project Attire was joined by members of the north Ajax Major Crime Unit, community services and Durham Regional Police’s auxiliary unit to talk to residents and businesses and to provide education on proactive measures to prevent vehicle thefts.

Motor vehicle thefts hit 1,495 in 2023, up from 511 in 2019. The numbers have risen every year, with the total of car thefts jumping in 2022 to 1,103 – a 56 per cent increase from the previous year.

Weekly and monthly averages have climbed from 10 and 43, respectively, in 2019, to 29 and 126 in 2023. Numbers from the first two months of 2024 show the rate of auto thefts is about the same as last year.

Durham Police is offering a few tips for car owners to avoid getting their vehicles stolen:

  • Always ensure your vehicle is locked and take the keys with you
  • Always park in a well-lit area and/or locked garage
  • Never leave an unattended vehicle running with keys inside
  • Consider anti-theft devices, such a as steering wheel lock or collar
  • Never hide a spare key inside your vehicle or outside your home
  • When not in use, place your key fob inside a radio frequency shielding pouch (Faraday Bag) to block cell signals
  • Never place/hang or leave keys directly inside the front door or near windows
  • Consider placing keys on your bedside table, but not near a window. The key fob can also be activated as an alert alarm, if you hear or see suspicious activity outside your home at night
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