In fact, a CBC Toronto investigation Car thefts found are up nearly 45 percent in the city compared to last year, with 2022 still three months away, and 54 percent in the Peel region as of August 31. That’s on top of carjackings, which in Toronto are up 209 percent from 2021 so far this year.
So what vehicles are thieves targeting and what can you do to stop them?
According to Toronto Police, the most commonly stolen vehicles have a push-to-start ignition, the ones with a key fob.
That aligns with what the Équité Association, which investigates and analyzes insurance fraud and crime, found in compiling its list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Ontario for 2020.
In Ontario, the most commonly stolen vehicles include the Lexus RX series, the Honda CR-V series, and the Honda Civic series.
The list highlights a key trend in vehicle thefts across the country, says the Équité Association: With more vehicles equipped with keyless entry remotes, electronic car theft is on the rise across Canada.
“These are not young people stealing cars for fun or maybe a group that might steal a car to use in a secondary criminal offense. These are professional criminals who have professional networks,” said Michael Slack, director of auto theft for Ontario and Eastern Canada for the Équité Association.
“And often the experience of that specific network can influence the type of vehicle that gets stolen in your neighborhood.”
In other words, a group that has figured out how to get past security for a given vehicle will likely go after more of them and increase the number of break-ins in a given area.
Car thieves want to get into your car and take it away as quickly as possible.
That’s why Bryan Gast, vice president of investigative services for the Équité Association, suggests a “layered approach” to make it more cumbersome for thieves, “anything that makes it harder for criminals to steal that vehicle.” [and] it adds time to what they need to do,” he says.
But before looking at the protection you can buy, there are a few basic steps that cost nothing and can also be very helpful, experts suggest.
First, there’s the obvious: always carry your keys with you when you park, don’t leave your vehicle running, make sure your doors and windows are locked, and always set your emergency brake. And definitely don’t leave original ownership or insurance cards in your vehicle; consider a photocopy instead.
But here are some lesser-known tips that can help:
If your vehicle has a keyless ignition, there are some additional steps you can take to make it more difficult to steal.
Do not store your electronic key near the front door or near a window. Better yet, keep your remote in a material-lined signal blocking bag to prevent your remote from sending a signal to your vehicle. That will prevent it from being intercepted and potentially reprogrammed by would-be thieves.
Avoid lock away. You know which one. You’ve parked your vehicle, walk away and press the remote lock button. That, Gast says, creates a range that can leave your remote’s signal vulnerable to interception.
CLOCK | CBC Marketplace shows how a vehicle can be stolen in minutes:
Here are some other tools and protective measures that come at a cost, but that experts suggest can be worthwhile investments:
Invest in an on-board diagnostic port block, either physical or electronic, to prevent thieves from reprogramming a car’s remote and disabling the security system.
Report it to the police immediately. The sooner police have that information and can enter it into the Canadian Police Information Center database, the more likely an officer will identify it down the road, says Slack of the Équité Association.
Then report it to your insurance company, something you won’t have a problem with if you’ve followed another tip on this list: keep your original documents at home so that if thieves take your vehicle, they won’t take your documents. also.
Finally, you may want to review your insurance policy ahead of time to make sure it covers you for potential theft, says Matt Hands, senior director of insurance at RateHub.ca. Basic care insurance policies often don’t cover auto theft, so clients may want to consider comprehensive coverage and other add-ons like loss of use that give you car rental benefits while your claim is ongoing and limited depreciation to protect the value of your vehicle. more extensive.
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