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The SPVQ doubles its vehicle theft investigation staff

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The Quebec City Police Department says it takes the scourge of auto theft seriously.

  • Érik Chouinard (View profile)Érik Chouinard

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In an effort to counter the increase in vehicle thefts, the City Police Department de Québec (SPVQ) is doubling its staff assigned to these investigations. However, he refuses to specify the number of investigators assigned for confidentiality concerns and to avoid harming his operations.

Like everywhere else in Quebec, the number of vehicles in Quebec City has been increasing in recent years. It increased from 351 in 2020 to 510 cars stolen in 2022, according to the SPVQ.

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Quebec's statistics for 2023 are however not yet ready, they will be in the coming months. In the province, 13,392 vehicles were stolen last year.

According to information reported in the daily La Presse, the Police Department of the City of Montreal (SPVM) plans to create a specialized unit to counter the phenomenon which is hitting particularly hard in the metropolis. In Quebec, however, the police have not reached that point in their thinking.

We are not in the same reality as the SPVM. This is why the creation of a specialized unit is not in the talks at the moment, writes a spokesperson.

Chipped keys present a vulnerability, as thieves can remotely amplify the signal using hacking devices. They can then enter the vehicle and start it as if they had the key in their pocket.

< img alt="A photo collage about car thefts." class="PictureImage-sc-f0aa5057-2 kmYcCL transition-opacity ease-out" style="opacity:1" loading="lazy" src="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_700/v1/ici-info/16x9/vol-voitures-collage-photos.jpeg">Open in full screen mode

Thieves are taking advantage of new technologies to seize vehicles before transporting them around the world.

With traditional mechanical keys, thieves must complete more steps before leaving with the vehicle.

For its part, the federal government wants to make the sale and use of hacking devices that are found over the counter in Canada illegal. It will also invest $28 million to limit auto theft in the country.

The SPVQ advises the population to equip themselves with security cameras at home and not to leave their electronic keys near the front door so that their signal is more difficult to detect. He also suggests putting this type of key in anti-RFID or Faraday pouches or containers which allow the waves to be completely blocked.

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A house equipped with a surveillance camera system.

According to CAA-Quebec, Honda and Toyota SUVs are particularly targeted by thieves. The organization recommends that motorists owning one of the most stolen vehicle models increase their means of protection or deterrence.

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The federal government also held a summit on car theft on February 8 where various stakeholders from the police, insurance and automobile industry discussed different approaches to tackling the phenomenon.

  • Érik Chouinard (View profile)Érik ChouinardFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116