By Rebecca Dingwell
A stolen car. A police chase.
Before they reached Chain Rock Dr., just before 1 a.m. on February 2, officers saw the stolen vehicle at North Park St. and Cunard St. Police say the 16-year-old driving the car refused to pull over. They pursued it until the youth crashed into the sidewalk turning from Duke St. onto Barrington.
Along with the youth, 18-year-old Cody Jesso was inside the vehicle. Both occupants tried to run, but were arrested a short distance away from the scene of the crash.
Jesso and the boy were both held in custody overnight. Jesso faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle, possession of property obtained by crime and two counts of breach of probation. The youth faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle, mischief over $5,000, dangerous operation of motor vehicle, evading police and four counts and breach of probation.
Const. Pierre Bourdages responded to the crime by saying, car thefts are “a frequent occurrence throughout the city.”
Although Bourdages was unable to say how this car was stolen, an article released by the Chronicle Herald this past December suggests that a number of car owners leave their keys in their vehicles. Anyone could break into a car with the intention of stealing money or other items, but seeing keys left inside will make them more inclined to take a joyride as well.
Crime of opportunity
“In 2012, there were nine vehicles stolen in peninsular Halifax and 561 thefts from vehicles reported to police,” said Bourdages.
Sgt. Paul Robinson said vehicle theft is usually a “crime of opportunity,” and the motivation for theft tends to fall into one of three categories.
He thinks most of cars stolen are simply for joyriding.
In other cases, “they’re stealing the vehicle to commit other crimes, like robberies” said Robinson. “[Or] it’s being stolen to be chopped up to be used for parts for other vehicles.”
The recently established HRP crime mapping tool lets community members see the problem visually, as the map lights up significantly when thefts involving motor vehicles are selected.
Robinson added that people can prevent car theft by not leaving their keys in the car or in the garage.
Interview with Sgt. Paul Robinson
Robinson talks about the three categories of car theft.