Ontario Taking Action to Combat Auto Theft in York Region

New funding will help York Regional Police prevent vehicle thefts

Ontario Taking Action to Combat Auto Theft in York Region

York Region — The Ontario government is investing $900,000 over three years to help York Regional Police Services combat and prevent auto thefts in York Region. 

“Car theft is a serious issue in Thornhill, and I am proud of our government for taking it seriously,” said Laura Smith, MPP for Thornhill. “The new funding will help police identify and dismantle organized crime networks, strengthen the prosecution of auto thieves, and manage cases more effectively. We are keeping our communities safe and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable.” 

The funding is part of the government’s new Preventing Auto Thefts (PAT) Grant program designed to support new and enhanced crime-flighting measures that focus on prevention, detection, analysis and enforcement. In total, 21 police projects across the province are receiving funding for a total investment of $18 million over three years in the fight against auto theft.

“Every 14 minutes a vehicle is stolen in Ontario and this investment will give police services the tools they need to successfully fight auto theft across the province,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “This grant will enable police services to work with law enforcement and logistics partners to enhance prevention, improve investigations and gather evidence to hold criminals accountable.”

The PAT grant is one of several measures underway to fight auto theft. Earlier this year, Ontario announced the Organized Crime Towing and Auto Theft Team to help police services identify, disrupt and dismantle organized crime networks. In addition, the government also announced the creation of the Major Auto Theft Prosecution Response Team to help police prepare and prosecute complex cases. Ontario is also exploring opportunities to combat vehicle thefts by partnering with Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and shipping container and rail companies. 

“We are grateful for the Province of Ontario’s $18 million funding through the Preventing Auto Theft (PAT) grant, of which $900,000 over three years will come to York Regional Police,” said Chief Jim MacSween. “We will be spending this money wisely, on data-driven enforcement, dedicated investigative teams and acquiring specialized resources and equipment. The funding will also help us expand our data collection and analysis efforts, to better examine links to organized crime and other criminal activity.”


  • Vehicle theft is up by 200 per cent since 2019 in York Region. So far in 2023, there have been over 3,300 recorded stolen vehicles, with roughly 90 per cent happening in the south end of the region.
  • From 2014 to 2021, there was a 72 per cent increase in auto thefts across the province, and a 14 per cent increase in the last year alone. 
  • Car thefts in Ontario have increased by 31 per cent in the first six months of 2023, when compared to the same period in 2022. 


This investment will help our law enforcement teams and their dedicated units expand their resources and equipment to combat the criminals of auto theft. Our government is committed to doing everything they can to keep our communities safe.

MPP Caroline Mulroney, MPP for York-Simcoe


Increasing the safety of our neighbourhoods is of the utmost importance. York Regional Police continue to provide exemplary services for our residents. With this new government funding, YRP will add the resources needed to dismantle organized criminal networks to reduce auto theft.

Dawn Gallagher Murphy, MPP for Newmarket—Aurora


Addressing the rising issue of auto theft is a top priority for our government. We are committed to provide York Regional Police with the necessary support and resources needed to maintain community safety and tackle the challenges of auto theft head-on.

Billy Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville.


Car theft is a serious crime that victimizes law-abiding families and seniors in our community far too often. King-Vaughan families deserve safer streets. Our government is taking action to hold car thieves to account by investing $18 million over three years to help police services combat these criminals more effectively.

Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan


In our commitment to the safety and well-being of Ontario communities, we are investing over $18 million to empower our police services. This funding will equip law enforcement with essential tools, specialized training, and dedicated units, reflecting our dedication to reducing auto theft and fostering a secure environment for all.

Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville


The recent infusion of funding for the York Regional Police, as part of Ontario’s formidable $18 million strategy to combat auto theft, heralds a significant turning point in safeguarding Markham-Thornhill. This robust initiative, coupled with specialized teams and strategic partnerships, is a clear demonstration of our steadfast commitment to dismantle organized crime networks and reinforce the security of our community, ensuring peace of mind for all residents.

Logan Kanapathi, MPP for Markham-Thornhill


This investment will support auto theft prevention and help to keep our vehicles and our communities safe. We are putting measures in place that will improve the safety and security of our residents and sending a clear message to criminals that auto theft in Ontario will not be tolerated. 

Michael Parsa, MPP for Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill


This funding amplifies our commitment to fortifying crime prevention initiatives and bolstering our resolve against auto theft. The dedication exhibited by the York Regional Police in securing this grant underscores their unwavering commitment to community safety. This grant serves as a vital tool empowering law enforcement to implement robust strategies, fostering an environment where safety and security thrive.

Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill


SOURCE Office of MPP Laura Smith

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