While it is true that criminals used to prey more on vehicles parked in public places, such as CIUSSS-MCQ parking lots, more and more thefts are now being reported in residential yards in Mauricie.
The bandits have also expanded their scope of crimes. “This week, in the MRC des Chenaux, there were two SUV thefts. It's not a common thing. Let's say it's less regular than in more urban areas like Trois-Rivières," explained the spokesperson for the Sûreté du Québec, Éloïse Cossette.
The Trois-Rivières police said they are following the case closely.
The Honda CRV, Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford F-150 are the most stolen vehicles. The Sûreté du Québec reminds owners who use an electronic key to be extra vigilant. “Don't let them near the front door, thieves have adapted to technology. They can intercept signals from smart keys,” Sergeant Cossette advised.
Car rental companies have claimed to be doing good business at the moment since insurance companies are providing a replacement vehicle while the administrative files related to the theft of the vehicle are settled. “We rent more vehicles than before for reasons of theft. It is not uncommon for people to rent the vehicle longer until they receive their new vehicle,” an employee of a rental company said anonymously.
For those who have had their vehicle stolen, the lack of vehicles available at dealerships complicates matters. “It's not going until next December before we receive an identical vehicle. In the meantime, we have a courtesy vehicle, but that will end when the file is settled with the insurance. Let's say that the availability of the vehicle will be important in our purchasing process,” said Annie Masson.
In recent weeks, several CIUSSS employees have had their SUVs stolen from parking lots. Many have denounced the lack of security. The CIUSSS-MCQ is currently considering the possibilities of adding surveillance cameras and more security guard rounds.