Ontario Taking Action to Combat Auto Theft in the Region of Durham

New funding will help the Durham Regional Police Service prevent vehicle thefts

NEWS December 15, 2023

DURHAM — The Ontario government is investing $900,000 over three years to
help the Durham Regional Police Service combat and prevent auto thefts in the
Region of Durham.
The funding is part of the government’s new Preventing Auto Thefts (PAT) Grant
program designed to support new and enhanced crime-flighting measures that
focus on prevention, detection, analysis and enforcement. In total, 21 police
projects across the province are receiving funding for a total investment of $18
million over three years in the fight against auto theft.
“Every 14 minutes a vehicle is stolen in Ontario and this investment will give
police services the tools they need to successfully fight auto theft across the
province,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “This grant will enable police
services to work with law enforcement and logistics partners to enhance
prevention, improve investigations and gather evidence to hold criminals
“This substantial investment by the Ontario government of $9000,000 over three
years underscores our unwavering commitment to enhancing public safety”, said
Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “As vehicle thefts continue to
pose a threat to our communities, this funding empowers our dedicated police
officers with the resources needed to implement cutting-edge crime-fighting
“Indirect victims of auto theft will eventually bear the brunt of the crime’s effects. It
takes away your sense of security at home and may result in increased vehicle
insurance rates. Patrice Barnes, M.P. “This funding will assist Durham Regional
Police in acquiring additional resources to help reduce the occurrence of auto
theft and restore peace of mind to Ajax residents.”

“With vehicle thefts on the rise, our government is taking bold action against a
serious and often violent crime where criminals operate in tightly organized
networks,” said Whitby MPP Lorne Coe and Parliamentary Assistant to the
Premier. “Our auto theft focus will support our ongoing efforts to ensure
communities remain safe and that we hold offenders accountable.”
“Through this investment, our government is proudly supporting the Durham
Region Police Service in its efforts to combat auto theft,” said Todd McCarthy,
MPP for Durham. “Cracking down on auto theft is crucial for maintaining the
safety of our community, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to provide
our police services with the necessary resources to hold criminals accountable.”
The PAT grant is one of several measures underway to fight auto theft. Earlier
this year, Ontario announced the Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team
to help police services identify, disrupt and dismantle organized crime networks.
In addition, the government also announced the creation of the Major Auto Theft
Prosecution Response Team to help police prepare and prosecute complex
cases. Ontario is also exploring opportunities to combat vehicle thefts by
partnering with Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted
Police and shipping container and rail companies.
“Auto theft has a significant impact on the safety and security of our community.
A vehicle is integral of one’s ability to work, live and play and represents one of
the most substantial investments our residents make. Through the funding
generously provided by the government, we can bolster our technological
capabilities, enhance community engagement, and implement proactive
measures to effectively combat this pervasive crime. Our goal is to empower the
community with the freedom to navigate their daily lives, knowing that we are
actively working to secure their vehicles and uphold the safety of our Region.”

– Peter Moreira, Chief, Durham Regional Police Service

▪ From 2014 to 2021, there was a 72 per cent increase in auto thefts across
the province, and a 14 per cent increase in the last year alone.
▪ Car thefts in Ontario have increased by 31 per cent in the first six months
of 2023, when compared to the same period in 2022.

Ontario Cracking Down on Auto Theft