Winnipeg police finds car thief by footprints in snow

Car theft is a growing problem in Canada, thankfully in Winnipeg, we have the Air1 helicopter that helps police to track down and find the stolen vehicle fast! A new report from the Canadian Insurance Bureau says that picky car thieves are increasingly targeting Ford trucks and high-end SUVs. At the same time, the total number of car thefts continues to grow throughout the country.

The Canadian insurance bureau reports in its annual list of the most frequently stolen cars that the Ford F-Series trucks again ranked first. Henry Tso, vice president of the board of inquiry, says thieves in Ontario and Alberta prefer trucks, and in Atlantic Canada, Nissan Maxima, as well as Chevy Silverado and Jeep Liberty are most often stolen.

Approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday morning patrol members spied the stolen car on Main Street near Redwood Avenue, but the driver managed to escape before police could catch up.

About 15 minutes later, police found the now-empty car in the back lane on Cathedral Avenue, with a single set of footprints leading from the vehicle. With the help of the K9 unit, police tracked a suspect to Andrews Street and Machray Avenue.

A 39-year-old Randy Clark of Winnipeg is now facing charges. Those charges include possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failing to comply with a probation order. He was already wanted for failing to comply with a probation order and being unlawfully at large.

According to MPI, of all the hijackings of vehicles registered using car keys last year, almost 50% were associated with keys left in the car’s ignition lock or somewhere else in the cabin. In other cases, vehicle keys were taken from homes or from bags and coats left in public places.

Insurers say that Christmas time is the most popular time to hijack vehicles, as they often turn out to be loaded with gifts. The report states that cars are often smuggled out of the country, sold to unsuspecting consumers, scrapped for dismantling, or used to commit another crime involving organized criminal groups. The Canadian Criminal Intelligence Service reports that criminal car theft groups are based mainly in Montreal and Toronto.

Fellow Winnipeggers, please be careful where you leave your vehicle, as the report shows almost no car theft occurred at Parkades and underground garages, as they are equipped with multiple security cameras and have gates, where you have to stop and pay to get out, also security guards at the premises discourage car thieves. So think twice before leaving your vehicle just on the street, try to avoid bad neighborhoods and keep an eye on your car keys.

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