Nearly a third of stolen vehicles had keys in them: Saskatchewan RCMP

Saskatchewan RCMP are reporting over 1,500 vehicle thefts in their jurisdiction, with almost a third of them having the keys in the vehicle.

Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, there were consistently over 100 vehicles per month stolen in the RCMP jurisdiction for a total of 1,519 in the year. RCMP said 451 of the owners of those had left the keys inside.

Many of today’s vehicles have fobs that don’t require the vehicle owner to be in the vehicle to start them. There are only so many places people can hide their fobs, the RCMP said in a media release, so thieves are more likely to find them.

There were 368 vehicles recovered that were further damaged – including being burned or stripped – out of the 1,095 reported vehicle thefts that were recovered.

“Our Crime Analysts are able to sort through the data we receive when people report crimes such as these vehicle thefts and are able to track criminal activities and trends this way,” said Sgt. Scott Hunter of the Saskatchewan RCMP Crime Prevention and Crime Reduction unit in a media release.

The RCMP suggests it’s risky to hide your keys inside your vehicle as it warms up, so they should be taken with you when you leave your vehicle, and they also suggest taking garage door openers out of vehicles.

“This intelligence-based information tells us that some stolen vehicles are additionally used in the commission of other crimes including break and enters, dangerous driving and flight from police. So vehicle thefts sometimes end up being more than just vehicle thefts,” Hunter said.

The same risks also apply to commercial vehicles.

They also say if you run out of fuel on the road, to take your key with you so someone doesn’t help themselves to the contents of your vehicle or simply add gasoline and drive away.

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