Blue Line

Strategic solutions to combat auto theft

April 23, 2024  By Blue Line Staff

Watch the webinar here

In a recent Blue Line webinar, Detectives Scott Cresswell (York Regional Police) and Greg O’Connor (Peel Regional Police) spoke about the rise of auto thefts in the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada.

Cresswell began by discussing the attractiveness of the region due to its affluence and abundance of vehicles. He highlighted the evolution of law enforcement efforts, including the formation of temporary task forces, and the shift in focus towards organized crime groups targeting cars for exportation. He explained various methods used by criminals to steal cars, and presented videos and images demonstrating these techniques in action, emphasizing the speed and sophistication of modern car theft methods.

Cresswell discussed the role of law enforcement in investigating trafficking trends, including destination switching, bulk container trafficking, and rail yard selection tactics used by criminals. He also touched on collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies, such as joint task forces and initiatives aimed at disrupting criminal operations financially.

O’Connor emphasized the seriousness of auto theft, which extends beyond mere property loss to endangering public safety. He discussed various strategies employed by law enforcement, including intelligence sharing, enforcement, and prevention measures. He highlights the prevalence of organized auto theft rings, fraudulent activities involving vehicle identification numbers (VINs), and the challenges posed by technology advancements.


O’Connor provided examples of investigations, such as identifying tampered VINs, uncovering chop shops, and intercepting stolen vehicles bound for export. He underscored the importance of public awareness, education, and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and industry partners.

Thank you to our webinar sponsor, Axon.

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