Auto theft involving keys on the rise – Manitoba Public Insurance

Manitoba vehicle owners are strongly encouraged to protect their keys in the wake of rising key-related thefts. Of the 400 vehicles reported stolen this past spring, 75 per cent involved the use of keys, representing an 11 per cent increase for key-related thefts compared to spring of 2014, according to Manitoba Public Insurance claims data.

“Thanks to a number of highly successful anti-theft initiatives, Winnipeg has long lost the tag as the auto theft capital of Canada,” said Gord Mackintosh, Attorney General & minister responsible for Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Over the last decade, auto thefts in the City of Winnipeg have declined by nearly 85 per cent. However, there’s still work to be done if we want to achieve further reductions in the auto theft numbers.”

With the goal of raising awareness about protecting vehicle keys, Manitoba Public Insurance and CAA Manitoba have launched a public awareness campaign, in partnership with members of the Citizens on Patrol Program (COPP). Over the next few months, COPP members will be holding information sessions in their respective communities to remind vehicle owners about the importance of safeguarding vehicle keys. In total, there are 59 COPP groups in the province.

“Stolen vehicles are typically driven dangerously, potentially endangering the lives of innocent motorist, pedestrians and cyclists,” said Ward Keith, vice-president Business Development & Communications and chief product officer, Manitoba Public Insurance. “For public safety, it’s important to eliminate the opportunity for these crimes and help to keep Manitoba roadways safe.”

CAA Manitoba is also urging Manitobans to protect their vehicles from auto thieves.

“Our weather will soon be turning colder, but even in extreme winter conditions, vehicles only need a couple of minutes to warm up,” said Mike Mager, president and chief executive officer, CAA Manitoba.

“There is no reason to leave your keys in the ignition. To reduce warm up time, plug your vehicle in when it’s colder than -18 C.”

Quick tips:

  • Don’t keep your keys anywhere inside your vehicle.
  • Be careful with your keys to avoid losing them, or having them stolen.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle running unattended.
  • Always keep your vehicle locked.
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