Law Enforcement

Auto Theft Prevention

lockitsign_150x150Lock it & Pocket the Key!

Auto Theft Investigations show that the overwhelming majority of vehicles stolen in Saint John are taken because the owner left a spare key within the vehicle.  These keys are often discovered during what Police refer to as “carprowls”.  


Criminals scan parked vehicles looking for:

  • Attractive items worth stealing (ipod, cameras, computers, stereos, hockey equipment etc .)
  • Loose change
  • Unlocked vehicles

If they see anything that catches their eye, the car is targeted & searched.  This is when the ‘hidden’ key is discovered & the theft takes place.  These offences generally take place during the darkened hours & by the time the theft has been discovered, the vehicle has generally been abandoned, quite often it is damaged maliciously.

Auto Theft Investigators know that 90% of vehicle thefts in Saint John occur in this fashion.  This is an entirely preventable situation if vehicle owners would Lock it & Pocket the key!

The Saint John Police Force Stolen Auto Unit & the Community Services Unit teamed up early in 2011 to address this problem & commenced an on-going crime reduction strategy aimed at reducing the number of vehicles stolen because of spare keys left inside.

Community Police Officers & Auxiliary Police Officers physically roamed city streets in hot-spot areas & attached report cards to parked vehicles warning owners about bad habits observed by the Officers.  Neon billboard warnings were placed in high crime areas & presentations were made to community groups as well as insurance companies.

The Lock it & Pocket the Key program has been well received by the community, supported by the media & partners such as shopping malls who have posted signs warning people to remove valuables & lock their cars.

The program has achieved a high degree of cooperation & success.  The proof of which has been a reduction in car thefts for 2011 of over 60%!

Recently, the Lock it & Pocket the Key program received a commendation from the Province of New Brunswick Department of Public Safety in recognition of its contribution to a reduction in crime.

How can you help prevent/stop Auto Theft?

  • Always remember to “Lock it & Pocket the key.”
  • Call 648-3333 if you see people you suspect are committing “carprowls”.
  • If you have any information concerning stolen vehicles including ATV’s, call the Stolen Auto Unit at any of our contact points, including Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

Please call 911 for Emergencies or 648-3333 for non-emergency immediate assistance.

Police Administration

Police Administration

(506) 648-3200

1 Peel Plaza
Saint John, NB, E2L 0E1

Contact Stolen Auto Unit:

ONE Peel Plaza
Saint John, NB E2L 0E1

Main Phone: 506-632-6108
Main Fax: 506-632-6158
After Hours: 506-648-3333