As Calgary experiences a dramatic spike in reported vehicle thefts, opportunistic thieves have found another way to separate cars, trucks and vans from their rightful owners.
Nearly 130 vehicles are reported stolen in Calgary each week, some of which have been snatched from dealerships, storage companies or auto body shops where owners have left their keys in what they believed was a secure lockbox.

Staff-Sgt. Kristie Verheul of the Calgary police force’s economic crimes unit says such businesses are definitely being targetted.
On a recent Sunday night, Lee and Diane Schneider parked their 2014 Jeep Cherokee in the Tower Chrysler lot to undergo repairs and dropped the keys in the lock box.
When the Schneiders called the dealership to find out when they could pick up their Jeep, the dealership had no record of their vehicle.
Lee Schneider says the receptionist admitted the dealership had been the target of a break-in where the thieves took all the keys out of the lock box’.
“When I talked to the police they said dealers have been warned this is a really lousy system,” he says.
“You’re handing your keys and the possession of your vehicle to the dealer and you expect there to be a standard of care as if it was their own vehicle.”
Verheul says police are asking dealerships to take steps to ensure keys remain out of reach of would-be thieves.
“When it comes to lock boxes, we are asking that they make them break-in proof,” says Verheul. “Ones that can’t be fished out of with a hook of some sort.”
The Schneiders are thankful their insurance will cover the theft but say they’ll think twice before leaving their keys in a drop box again.


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