Over the past week, a total of 27 vehicles were stolen from Burlington, Oakville, and Milton, according to crime data from the Halton Regional Police.
The thefts were distributed across all three communities with no specific area being targeted. The breakdown of stolen vehicles was as follows:
12 in Oakville,
8 in Burlington, and 7 in Milton,
occurring between March 20 and March 26.
Last week, the Halton Regional Police Auto Theft Task Force collaborated with other police departments in an operation that recovered 24 stolen vehicles worth $2.1 million. One of the recovered vehicles was a white Rolls-Royce valued at around $500,000.
In most cases, the stolen vehicles were subjected to a process called "reprogramming" where the culprits enter the car and reprogram the ignition computers, enabling them to drive the vehicle away using a new key. Typically, the stolen vehicles are taken to the Port of Montreal or loaded into shipping containers in Toronto and transported to Montreal by rail before being shipped to destinations in the Middle East or Africa.
Police recommend taking certain measures to decrease the likelihood of vehicle theft, including parking the vehicle in a locked garage, blocking the exit of a target vehicle with a second parked vehicle, installing an on-board diagnostic blocker/protector, a steering wheel lock device, an aftermarket GPS tracking device, and home security cameras on the exterior of the residence.