Monday, February 12, 2024

About That "Car Theft Problem"

So, in the last few days, much virtual ink has been spilled by the press and conservative politicians about Canada's "car theft problem".  I'm not going to spend a ton of time analyzing it, but I do want to point out a few things on the matter. 

Conservatives always jump to "tougher penalties", and sadly, our justice minister seems to be following suit (presumably to shut Poilievre up by taking a card out of his hand).  Tougher penalties is easy politics, but frankly has nothing to do with any kind of deterrent effect.  At most, you're basically going to round up a handful of street level operatives who are stealing cars - but they aren't the real problem. 

The real problem here is organized crime.  This isn't a "steal a car for a joyride" thing, this is a big business, with a sophisticated supply chain for acquiring cars, shipping them overseas, and reselling them as luxury goods.  Same thing with illicit drugs on our streets - the problem isn't the drugs on the streets, it's the criminal organizations who make, distribute, and ultimately sell this shit. 

You want to bring this to its knees?  Go after the high level criminals.  Those old enough to remember the cops going after "Mafia" in the 1970s and later will recall that those investigations took a long time to bear fruit.  It involved getting people into the organization, or recruiting informants, and then spending years gathering the evidence needed to take down the people in control.

That's what we need to do again.  Only this time it isn't the "Italian Crime Family" that needs to be dismantled, it's a criminal enterprise that is far more sophisticated.  International cooperation will be essential to chasing these people down, because I guarantee you that most of what is in Canada are low to mid-level players.  The captains of these underground businesses are elsewhere. 

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