Ottawa, Ontario – Canada has passed a new bill, Tackling Auto Theft and Property Crime Act, which establishes new offences for auto theft or for tampering with the vehicle information number (VIN).
The bill, also known as S-9, has been passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate. Once it receives Royal Assent, it will come into force, with a time allowance for the provinces and territories to prepare for the changes.
Specific highlights of the bill include:
– A separate offence of “theft of a motor vehicle,” which carries a mandatory prison sentence of six months for conviction of a third or subsequent offence when the prosecutor proceeds by indictment.
– A new offence has been established for altering, destroying or removing a VIN.
– The bill makes it an offence to traffic in property obtained by crime, and makes it an offence to possess such property for the purpose of trafficking.
In addition, the act will allow the Canada Border Services Agency to detain suspected stolen property before it is exported from the country, which will reduce the exportation of stolen vehicles from Canada by organized crime.