The rate of thefts from vehicles is higher now than it has been since police started keeping statistics, which is about 20 years ago, says Calgary police Insp. Keith Cain.
“It seems to be a number of factors that are contributing to this very concerning phase that we are going through, or trend that we’re seeing, ” says Cain.
That trend not only includes thefts from vehicles — or car prowlings as they are also known — but other related crimes including vehicle thefts, or break and enter into garages, or homes, once the criminal has the garage door opener.
All of these types of crimes are up 50 per cent over last year.
“All of this I suppose, education of the criminals, of them moving up the food chain, has resulted in a huge increase in all these offences,” Cain said.
Window repairs ‘busier than ever’
It’s keeping auto glass shops busy around Calgary. CalAlta Auto Glass customer service representative Kary Heikoop says she has been getting one or two related calls every day.
“I’m surprised at the fact of how often, people are coming in and and every time, I usually ask what happened to the windshield so we can understand, and constantly, vandalism — somebody broke into it, smashed it,” said Heikoop.
Jake Franklin, a technician with Dynasty Auto Glass, wonders if this year’s increase is connected to the economic downturn.
“There’s a lot of really desperate people out there and there’s a little bit…