News / Calgary

Calgary police chief blames province’s lax registration for auto thefts

Chief Roger Chaffin said thieves can sell stolen vehicles without providing identification

Calgary Police Chief Roger Chaffin told city council the province makes it too easy for thieves to sell stolen cars.

Autumn Fox / For Metro

Calgary Police Chief Roger Chaffin told city council the province makes it too easy for thieves to sell stolen cars.

Calgary’s police chief is laying part of the blame for a spike in auto thefts at the feet of the provincial government.

Speaking to Calgary City Council on Monday, Chief Roger Chaffin called Alberta an outlier among Canadian provinces in a vehicle registration issue.

“It deals with the fact you can steal a vehicle and sell a vehicle without identification,” said Chaffin.

The chief said that’s part of the reason why Calgary has seen a spike in motor vehicle thefts during the economic downturn.

Alberta has the highest auto theft rates per capita in the country, according to numbers provided by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

In 2016, more than 3,900 vehicles were stolen and not recovered in the province. Calgary police said nearly 3,000 vehicles were stolen in Calgary alone in the first six months of 2017.

Chaffin said the force has been working with Service Alberta to ask for changes in the vehicle registration process.

“Perhaps it will lower the (vehicle theft) number down if we get back to some of the other provincial standards like maybe B.C. and Saskatchewan,” he said.

Metro requested a response to Chaffin’s remarks from the provincial government on Tuesday. By Thursday afternoon, nobody had been made available to answer questions.

A spokesperson for the province did confirm that law enforcement officials from around the province are at the table with Service Alberta, although no formal ask for changes has come forward yet.

The spokesperson also confirmed that no ID is required to sell a vehicle. One must be presented when a vehicle is registered.

Service Alberta does have a template bill of sale available online which encourages all parties involved in the sale of a vehicle to show ID.

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