Records show Canadian government-issued Ford pickup trucks and Toyota Highlanders were the most popular among auto thieves targeting the federal motor pool, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “I am hearing about this in British Columbia; I am hearing about this at the Port of Halifax,” said Justice Minister and Attorney General Arif Virani at a press scrum. “This is truly a national issue that requires a national response.”The disclosure came as Virani suggested a Criminal Code of Canada crackdown on auto thieves. Virani called auto theft “pernicious.” Cabinet said in an inquiry of ministry tabled in the House of Commons 38 government-issued vehicles were stolen from BC to Quebec. Figures were tabled at the request of Conservative MP Dave Epp (Chatham-Kent, ON), who asked how many government vehicles have been stolen per year since 2016. Figures did not include incidents at Canada Post or the Department of National Defence — operators of the largest federal fleets. “National Defence does not centrally track incidents of government vehicles stolen,” said cabinet. Most vehicles stolen at taxpayers’ expense were Ford pickups, Toyota Highlanders, Explorers and Econoline vans, Chevrolet pickups, Dodge Caravans and Chargers, and Jeep Wranglers. The RCMP said it had 13 vehicles stolen, including a Chevrolet Malibu driven off the parking lot at RCMP National Headquarters in Ottawa. Cabinet said thefts occurred in North Vancouver, Revelstoke, Surrey and Yoho in BC; Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Longview, Maskwacis, Red Deer, and Slave Lake in Alberta; Fort Qu’Appelle, La Ronge, Melfort, Montmartre, North Battleford, and Swift Current in Saskatchewan; Saint Laurent, Shamattawa, the Pas, Thompson, and Winnipeg in Manitoba; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ottawa, Stratford, Toronto, and Washago in Ontario; Gatineau, La Prairie, Montreal, Quebec City, and Verdun in Quebec; and Rankin Inlet in Nunavut.“It is really key to understand that when we are looking at this, we do look at it comprehensively,” said Virani. Cabinet proposed a national summit about auto theft on February 8. As justice minister and attorney general, he said he has to be responsible for the auto industry and insurance pieces. “It’s about looking at the ports, looking at the Canada Border Services Agency,” he said. “It’s about, yes, looking at the Criminal Code for which I am responsible.”The Alberta Motor Association warned motorists in December to lock their vehicles and remove valuables after a spike in auto thefts.READ MORE: AMA says Alberta has second-highest rate of auto thefts — after SaskatchewanThat is because statistics from the RCMP showed 57 vehicles are stolen every day and another 95 are broken into. In 2022, 20,725 vehicles were stolen, accounting for one-in-five thefts nationwide and beating out Saskatchewan. Of these auto thefts, more than 5,000 were in Calgary — one of the highest rates in Canada.