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Liberals to hold auto-theft summit in February amid uptick in stolen cars sent abroad

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have announced a national summit on auto theft aimed at getting provinces and industry officials together to address the growing issue of cars being stolen and shipped abroad.

The government says an uptick in stolen cars has prompted it to plan a Feb. 8 meeting to stop organized crime from profiting off of cars stolen on Canadian streets.

The Liberals point to industry estimates which state the rates of auto theft went up in Quebec by half in 2022 compared with the year prior, and to a similar degree in Ontario.

They say police across the Greater Toronto Area have seen carjackings double during that time and soar300 per cent since 2015.

The government says gangs steal cars and work with organized-crime groups to send them to the Middle East and Africa, or use them within Canada to commit crimes before destroying the vehicles.

That’s despite Ottawa insisting it has strong laws aimed at preventing thefts and tracking protocols meant to stop the stolen cars from being exported in shipping containers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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