Statistics Canada data shows vehicle thefts trending above year-ago numbers
Vehicle thefts in Canada have grown at a considerable rate since 2021 and continue to rise, with 2023 numbers expected to beat year-ago figures, according to Statistics Canada.
Watch the progression: In 2021, 83,416 vehicles were stolen in Canada. This number rose to 105,673 last year. And according to Statistics Canada, 2023 is trending upward beyond 2022 numbers.
Theft from a vehicle is also trending upward. Thefts from a motor vehicle equaling $5,000 or more rose from 4,490 to 5,857 in 2022, Statistics Canada data showed.
The rate per 100,000 population went up from 218.22 in 2021 to 271.44 in 2022.
Auto Remarketing Canada was sent data from Statistics Canada in mid-September to dig deeper into rising vehicle theft across the country.
Vehicle stolen by province
Quebec stands out as one of the most impacted provinces by this trend. The province saw vehicle thefts rise from 13,712 in 2021 to 20,834 in 2022.
Ontario is front and center of this news, as well. Thefts rose from 27,527 in 2021 to 37,041 in 2022. This brings the rate for 100,000 people to 245.15.
Toronto, in particular, saw thefts rise from 14,021 to 20,991 in 2022.
Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s saw thefts rise by a significant amount. There were 222 in 2021 compared to 357 in 2022.
Prince Edward Island was one of the only provinces to see a decline in thefts from 2021. The province saw thefts drop from 118 to 113.
Nova Scotia’s rise in thefts is particularly evident when beginning by looking at 2020. The province saw 941 vehicles stolen in 2020, 1,047 in 2021 and 1,196 in 2022.
New Brunswick was up from 1,691 in 2022 to 2,054 vehicle thefts last year. For Manitoba, 2021 saw 4,804 thefts, while 2022 saw 6,150. Saskatchewan: 5,688 thefts in 2022, up from 5,196 in 2021.
Alberta had 17,777 thefts in 2021 and 20,725 in 2022. British Columbia saw only a slight rise from 10,662 to 10,742.
Yukon saw thefts rise from 123 to 172 year-over-year, and the northwest territories saw rates rise by 173 to 190.
Taking a look at police-reported crime statistics in Canada, the non-violent CSI — which includes, for example, property offenses and drug offenses — rose 4% in 2022.
Much of the increase in 2022 was because of higher rates of several property crimes, notably motor vehicle theft — up a whopping 24% in Canada and 17% from 2019 before the pandemic.
Rates of theft (the combined rate of motor vehicle theft, major and minor theft and shoplifting of $5,000 or under), breaking and entering and robbery also increased in 2022 — after declining during the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Motor vehicle theft was the biggest culprit, having the greatest impact on the increase in the overall CSI in 2022.
In looking at vehicle theft data, it’s also key to take a look at the persons charged with these crimes, and whether charges are in line with the number of thefts.
In Canada, there were 5,149 charged with vehicle theft, while in 2022, 5,850 individuals were charged. Of those charged last year, 538 were youth, while 5,312 were adults.
Quebec and Ontario — the provinces most impacted by rises in vehicle theft — also had many of the perpetrators of these crimes move through their judicial systems this past year.
For Quebec, 919 were charged with vehicle theft in 2021, while that number rose to 1,256 in 2022.
Ontario charged 2,078 people with vehicle theft, compared to 1,991 in 2021. Total adults charged in this province last year came in at 1,881, while 155 youths were charged, as well.
These numbers are still far off from balanced with the rate of Canadian vehicles being stolen.