Ontario Taking Action to Combat Auto Theft in Peterborough-Kawartha

New funding will help Peterborough Police prevent vehicle thefts

NEWSDecember 20, 2023

Peterborough — The Ontario government is investing $492,609.94 over three years to help Peterborough Police Service, Rama First Nations Police Services, and the Ontario Provincial Police – Central Highway Safety Division to combat and prevent auto thefts.

“This collaborative partnership between police services will help will give officers the tools needed to fight auto theft between Peterborough and Rama First Nations,” said Dave Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha. “Car thefts within this community are happening at alarming rates and this is unacceptable.  We must stay one step ahead of these thefts and this investment will assist law enforcement in getting these criminals off the street and keeping vehicles safe and secure.” MPP Smith added.

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.

“This investment from the Ontario government will make a massive difference in combatting auto theft,” said Stuart Betts, Chief of Peterborough Police Service, “What people don’t realize is that auto theft is being done by organized crime and the proceeds lead to other crimes happening in our community. With this grant we will be able to ensure a safer Peterborough.” Added Chief Betts.

“This will allow the policing community to work collaboratively with industry stakeholders to disrupt and suppress auto thefts,” said Peterborough County OPP Detachment Commander Chris Galeazza.

“The Peterborough County OPP Detachment has a close working relationship with the Peterborough Police Service.  We will work diligently to enhance our partnerships with our non-enforcement agencies and disrupt the threat posed by individuals and organized crime networks, leading to safe communities and a secure Ontario.” Added Inspector Galeazza.


  • 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.