B.C. and Alberta police learn to combat auto theft at symposium in Red Deer

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is putting on a two-day symposium in Red Deer to teach Alberta and B.C. police officers the latest investigative techniques for auto theft.

Insurers pay out $540M a year to replace or fix stolen vehicles

The Insurance bureau of Canada is putting on a symposium in Red Deer to get police officers up to speed on the latest techniques for investigating vehicle thefts. (CBC)

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is putting on a two-day symposium in Red Deer to teach Alberta and B.C. police officers the latest investigative techniques for auto theft.

The bureau began this program because of the high costs associated with this type of crime.

It's estimated insurers pay out $540 million a year to replace or fix stolen vehicles — a cost that gets passed on to consumers, said spokesman Dan Service.

"When someone steals a car and sells it out of the country, the people that end up paying for it are the consumer. The insurance industry doesn't want that to be the case," Service said.

"So there's a clear parallel between the work that police do and the work that investigative services with the insurance bureau does in order to prevent criminal activity and reduce criminal activity," he added.

The symposium features experts on the latest investigative techniques, like detecting VIN numbers that have been cloned or stolen from a salvage yard.

Red Deer RCMP Supt. Scott Tod says it's a team approach to tackling a prolific type of crime.

"There's always new techniques and strategies in terms of combating auto crime and it's an opportunity to refresh and learn about new law, new techniques," he said.

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