Almost 6,200 stolen vehicles has Calgary leading the country, top cop warns

Calgary's police chief is concerned about the number of vehicles stolen in the city last year, nudging Calgary into the top spot across the country, well above the five-year trend.

A total of 6,183 vehicles were pinched in Calgary in 2018.

Mark Neufeld says the trend is driven by drug use and break-and-enters — and vehicle security improvements are actually making the situation worse.

"In order to steal vehicles, now criminals are having to do one of two things. They either assault somebody on their way to the car and take the keys or we're finding people breaking into people's homes, sometimes at night — which is extremely unnerving — in order to take keys so that they can facilitate stealing the vehicles," Neufeld said Wednesday.

Stolen vehicles are then used to commit break-and-enters, and the thefts are often motivated by the rise in methamphetamine use, he added.

This isn't the first time Calgary has had the dubious honour of being No. 1 in car thefts. Statistics from 2017 put the city in the top spot with an average of 111 vehicles stolen each week that year.