A tiny portion of Alberta police resources are devoted to auto theft — though the rate is highest in the country, and thieves are getting more sophisticated

CALGARY— Matt Baker admits he was lucky to have his Honda CBR 1000 street bike returned after it was stolen.

First of all, he made the mistake that leads to so many of the thefts that happen anywhere. He left the keys in the ignition.

“I was out (in the garage) with some friends and we had left the garage door six inches open, just for ventilation, and I forgot to close it,” said Baker.

Read more: Why Alberta leads the country in auto theft

That gap was large enough for a thief to squeeze under and make off with Baker’s bike.

He turned to social media, and it was an off-duty officer who first contacted him about spotting his bike at a gas station in Woodbine.

Baker asked the station for CCTV footage, and they obliged. With that, he made YouTube videos which also went to Reddit.

Within a few days he had a call from two officers.

“They called me up one night and said we think we found your bike down in Woodbine,” said Baker.

“I lucked out, I tell you, because it turned out I didn’t have theft insurance on the bike at the time.”

He gives full credit to the police for being vigilant and tracking down his bike.

In 2016, the last year for which numbers are available, Alberta led the country in reported auto thefts, according to Statistics Canada. Alberta had 28.9 per cent — nearly one third — of all such thefts in the country.

Alberta had almost double the total thefts of Quebec, with only half of the population.

Despite Alberta’s unusually high incidents of auto…

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