Ontario Taking Action to Combat Auto Theft in York Region

New funding will help York Regional Police prevent vehicle thefts

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.

“Increasing the safety of our neighbourhoods is of the utmost importance,” said Dawn Gallagher Murphy, MPP for Newmarket—Aurora. “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.”

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.