More than 200 vehicles stolen in Guelph this year, up from 163 during the same period in 2021
Mishi Moazzen, a longtime resident, said she has never felt more unsafe in Guelph.
On Tuesday, she and her fiancé woke up to find their new 2022 Dodge Ram pickup in the driveway, taken from their home on Auden Road overnight.
“I’m going crazy, I haven’t slept,” she told GuelphToday.
She’s not alone. It has become an unfortunate and eye-popping trend in the community lately.
Guelph police said Wednesday that at least six Dodge Ram pickups have been stolen locally in the past two weeks (since Nov. 25), numbers Moazzen called “a red flag.”
Police spokesman Scott Tracey said three more Dodge Ram pickups have been stolen since he originally spoke to GuelphToday Wednesday afternoon for this story.
“All reported early (Thursday) morning,” he said. “Two on the east side and one on the south side.”
So make nine in the last two weeks.
And local vehicle thefts are generally up on a year-over-year basis.
Tracey said more than 200 stolen vehicles have been reported this year, compared to the 163 reported during the same period in 2021.
Between August 9 and 10, the Guelph Police Department reported five newer Dodge Rams stolen from various locations.
For some, those are just numbers, disturbing numbers, mind you.
But for Moazzen, it’s more than that, being left to the aftermath, with what she said feeling violated on her own turf.
“We lost something that was a sign of fulfillment for us after years of hard work,” she said. “My bedroom is literally three feet from the end of that truck.”
Next to the truck was the couple’s second vehicle, a Mercedes, left untouched in the driveway. Four trucks were parked next to it, she said. But only the Ram was taken.
“They knew what they were doing, they know what they wanted,” Moazzen said. “When I called the police back at 10:30 a.m., they said another one was missing at the corner of Starwood and Grange.”
Large pickups, such as Dodge Rams and Ford F-150s, routinely make national lists for most stolen vehicles.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has said that stolen vehicles “are often immediately packed up — with their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) still intact — and shipped overseas, where they are sold for many times their original market value.”
Others are sold to unsuspecting consumers, used to commit other crimes or for joyriding.
Tracey said that until those responsible are caught, it would be speculative to suggest that the truck receives the same treatment in this incident.
But Moazzen, alarmed at the thought of this, went about the neighborhood to warn them.
“Everyone was shocked,” she said. “My neighbor said he goes to work at 3:45 a.m., and he said, ‘I didn’t even notice. I didn’t even look at all.'”
She said many she spoke to “had no idea something like this was going on in Guelph, especially those with trucks.”
Moazzen also brought up reports of thieves using AirTags to attack vehicles in the GTA.
Police departments have stated in the past that thieves will place tracking devices on luxury vehicles so that they can follow the vehicle all the way to the owner’s home.
“We’re not sure if this happened to us, but going by what they’re saying, it would make sense to me because Saturday night we were in Toronto,” she said. “(And) Tuesday morning we woke up with no car.”
AirTag usage is not unheard of in Guelph. Last December, a Ford F-150 was taken from a home in the south of the city hours after its owner found an Apple AirTag on it.
“We recommend that residents park indoors or in well-lit areas whenever possible and take steps to make theft of their vehicle more difficult,” Tracey said. “Using anti-theft devices or parking other vehicles in a manner that may prevent theft.”
Other tips include: never leave a vehicle unattended, consider a lock on the steering wheel or brake pedal, lock your doors and close all your windows when parked, and don’t leave personal information such as insurance and property documents in the glove compartment when parked state.
The theft of Moazzen’s truck is still under investigation.
Police describe the 2022 Dodge Ram pickup as a crew cab with a moonroof and a hard tonneau cover.