It’s a growing problem with a simple solution – don’t leave the keys inside your car.
In its latest ad campaign, SGI focuses on the rise in stolen vehicles across Saskatchewan.
According to SGI, vehicle thefts in the province have increased by 46 per cent — from just under 2,000 to almost 3,000 a year — over the last five years, with about half being stolen because the owner left the keys inside.
Regina police Supt. Darcy Koch said Tuesday the thefts happen at all hours, in residential and commercial areas.
“In the city of Regina, (it happens) daily,” Koch said.
Weyburn Police Chief Marlo Pritchard stressed the importance of education in bringing the numbers down.
“This is preventable. We can reduce these numbers,” Pritchard said.
According to SGI, police recover about 90 per cent of stolen vehicles. However, more than half are a total loss.
“The thieves are not taking care of your vehicle when they take it. We’re finding some pretty horrific things in the vehicles in our salvage yards from syringes to legal drugs,” said Penny McCune, the chief operating officer of Auto Fund.
“If it was my vehicle, I sure wouldn’t want it back.”
SGI noted other ways of preventing vehicle theft is taking out all valuables, considering an alarm, parking in a garage and ensuring windows are tightly closed and doors locked.