A Toronto-area man says he's baffled as to how his car was stolen off his driveway and ticketed twice without raising any red flags.
Danny Latincic says he noticed his vehicle was gone when he went to leave his Oakville, Ont., home last fall on Oct. 10.
Latincic says he immediately reported the theft to Halton Regional Police Service and provided security footage showing thieves breaking into and driving off with his 2018 Lexus RX350 earlier that morning.
He says he also reported the stolen vehicle to the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario the next day.
But with the vehicle reported stolen, Latincic doesn't understand why no alarm bells went off when it was ticketed for parking violations on Oct. 11 and Oct. 19 by the City of Mississauga. And it has him frustrated that there isn't more information sharing between the various authorities, including police agencies, the MTO and the municipalities that enforce parking laws.
"To think that it's somewhere and that it's getting parking tickets from a legal authority just blows my mind," Latincic said.
City's ticking app doesn't interact with police database
Vehicles reported stolen are listed on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), a central police database maintained by the RCMP.
That system is publicly available, meaning anyone can input vehicle information online to see if that car is listed as stolen.
However, a representative from the City of Mississauga said no red flags appear in their system when a bylaw officer is inputting a licence plate when ticketing a stolen vehicle.
"The ticketing app does not interact with CPIC," the city said, adding that they do not have the resources to enter vehicle information for every parking infraction issued in Mississauga.
Red flags only come up when a stolen vehicle is being towed, as that requires clearance from Peel Regional Police, said the city. Only in these cases will a Peel police officer advise if the vehicle is stolen and attend the scene, it said.
Peel Regional Police say bylaw officers don't usually contact police when simply issuing bylaw offences.
"If we are contacted by bylaw [officers] or the public in relation to a stolen vehicle investigation or other matters that justifies running a CPIC check, we would do so to assist with the investigation," said Peel police Const. Mandeep Khatra.
CBC Toronto asked the RCMP whether it would be beneficial for CPIC to communicate with ticketing authorities in order to help retrieve stolen vehicles left out in public, but did not receive a response.
It would make sense for ticketing authorities to have access to stolen vehicle information and databases so ticketers could alert authorities when they tried to ticket a stolen vehicle, says Bryan Gast, the vice-president of investigative services at Équité Association, an organization working to reduce insurance fraud and crime.
"If they're able to determine that a vehicle is stolen and then make that call to police, that would be helpful for sure."
Gast says car thieves will leave a car in a public place to make sure it's not GPS-tracked in what's known as a "cooling period," which could account for why Latincic's vehicle was left in multiple spots in Mississauga.
Can't be too careful, experts say
As for Latincic, while he received the tickets incurred on his vehicle in the mail, he wasn't forced to pay them.
And while his vehicle was eventually replaced by his insurance company, Latincic believes it could have been recovered if the ticketing officers had known it was stolen.
Now, he says, he's not taking any more chances and has many new security systems in place.
Industry experts say it's a good idea to be overly cautious in protecting against vehicle theft. In Toronto alone more than 8,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2022. That number is up from about 5,600 stolen vehicles in 2021.
Still, Gast says the sophistication and availability of technology has allowed organized criminal networks to steal and ship more vehicles, with Canada continuing to be a "source country."
"This is an organized network not only for the supply and the demand but the actual theft and then getting these vehicles out of the country."