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Posted on Monday May 16, 2022

As part of Police Week 2022, investigators with the York Regional Police Hold-Up and Auto/Cargo Theft Unit are sharing crime prevention tips following significant increases in vehicle thefts and carjacking incidents across York Region. 

Join Hold-Up Unit investigators on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 11 a.m. for an Ask Me Anything on Instagram (@officialyrp). Our members will educate the public on this emerging crime trend, share prevention tips and answer questions from the community.

Carjacking incidents often have threatening or actual elements of violence, where the suspect approaches the victim and steals their vehicle.  A theft occurs when the vehicle is stolen when it is left unattended. Aspects of these offences can vary, but in both cases, criminals are looking for the opportunity to take the most valuable vehicles they can find, as quickly and easily as possible, to then sell for profit.

Carjacking incidents have more than doubled since 2019.  Thanks to the dedicated efforts of officers working in our Hold-up Unit, more than 65 per cent of car jacking incidents in 2022 were solved quickly with arrests made and charges laid. Over the past few years, thousands of vehicles have been stolen across the region, typically from the owner’s driveway, between midnight and 6 a.m. 

Officers have remained active and aggressive in efforts to combat these issues, including initiating several major projects which have led to hundreds of arrests, significant charges laid and hundreds of vehicles being recovered in the last year. Despite this success, thieves are constantly developing new methods to accomplish these crimes.

Vehicle owners are encouraged to consider the following safety tips to help prevent these offences.

Carjacking prevention tips:

  • Trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings
  • If you suspect you are being followed, on the road or into your driveway, call 9-1-1.
  • If you are approached by thieves, remain calm and comply. Don’t fight back. Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible

Vehicle theft prevention tips:

  • Call police immediately to report suspicious people or activity
  • If possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage. Most vehicles are stolen from a driveway
  • Use a steering wheel lock. It will also act as a visible deterrent
  • Install a lock on the data port. This simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys
  • Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system
  • Inspect your vehicle regularly and call police if you notice any suspicious potential tracking devices

A compilation video of carjacking incidents can be found here:

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Auto/Cargo Theft Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6651, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip online at

Prepared by:

Constable Laura Nicolle
May 16, 2022