Auto thefts have been highlighted by Regina police this summer, with many reminders for drivers to not leave keys in unlocked vehicles.
A man who used to steal vehicles, and asked to remain anonymous, spoke to Gormley on Monday. He said he committed the crimes while he was a crystal meth user.
“At the time, it was kind of like, ‘Well the money’s good,’ but it’s kind of almost drug induced kind of thing like that – the excitement, the rush and you just needed something to do and you needed to make money somehow.”
He said when he was stealing vehicles, he would give them to another person who did whatever they wanted with the vehicle.
“The less I know the better.”
The man said thieves could get custom key fobs made that can replicate the original owners fob.
He said he would often wait at busy tire shops or convenience stores until he got a chance to take the vehicle.
“Usually people, they’re getting a service done so they’ll leave their truck running or leave the keys in it,” he said. “You only need that five minutes, not even, and they go in and you go out of your car, you jump into their vehicle and you just drive away as fast as you can type of thing.”
He said people seem to always be in a rush and those few minutes is all a thief needs.
“Usually half the time lots of their stuff is in the vehicle, so you’ve got lots of goodies to pick through and I’ve gotten laptops, I’ve gotten lots of stuff just from a quick five-minute job.”
He said that he would park the vehicle for a few days where there’s a high amount of traffic, toss away the keys and wait a few days before getting the vehicle.
“In the first 24 hours, (the police) are going to be frantically looking for it but after a couple of days it’s kind of on the back burner.”
The man added that people could get custom decals made that cover the entirety of the vehicle in order to change the colour.
He said his drug problem was what fueled him through the entire thing.
“Crystal meth is a drug that keeps you up for days, the longest I’ve ever went up is 10 days straight, so when you’re up for 10 days at a time, or let’s say eight or nine days at a time, you don’t think like a normal person, you don’t act like a normal person, everyone’s your enemy.”
The man said he turned to religion and has been sober for two years.
“I feel guilty all the time but at the same time, I am forgiven in my religion I guess if you want to say that, it is what it is, I can’t change the stuff that I used to do or did but I can change my future.”
He said people can decrease their chance of getting their vehicle stolen by simply locking the doors when they leave it unattended.
“As soon as you turn off the vehicle and lock it, then it’s going to take the person that’s trying to steal it, he’s going to have to jam something into the door, he’s going to have to open the door, especially with the new vehicles coming out and everything’s electronic, it’s a lot more difficult.”
He said it can take thieves just 30 seconds to rifle through all the possible hiding spots for keys or fobs within the vehicle.
He said large decals on vehicles can deter thieves because they can make a vehicle more identifiable.