Auto theft investigators from Central Canada come to Winnipeg for conference

As part of its on-going commitment to reduce auto theft in the province, Manitoba Public Insurance and the Central Canadian Auto Theft Association (CCATA) is hosting a two-day seminar (June 5-6), aimed specifically at sharing information about current criminal trends in the world of auto theft.

More than 70 auto theft investigators from police agencies and insurance providers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are attending the conference.

“Police agencies and insurance companies work very closely in monitoring the ever-changing trends and patterns relating to auto theft,” said Curtis Wennberg, vice-president, Customer Service and COO, Manitoba Public Insurance. “The issue in Manitoba is theft of vehicles with keys, while insurance companies in other jurisdictions have issues relating to vehicle theft and exportation, the changing VINs on vehicles, ghost vehicles and organized theft rings.”

In Manitoba, about 3,400 vehicles are stolen yearly costing MPI ratepayers about $30 million last year. About 90 per cent of those thefts are related to the use of keys. It’s estimated that about 85 per cent of all vehicle thefts in Manitoba occur in Winnipeg. MPI’s Special Investigation Unit is responsible for looking at all suspicious claims; some of which include auto theft.

“Fraudsters and auto thieves can be very sophisticated in their methods,” said Wennberg. “The sharing of information, trends and information with other experts is very important to stay ahead of the trends and reduce this type of crime. Auto theft is not a victimless crime because all drivers are financially affected and everyone’s safety is more at risk with stolen vehicles on the road.”

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