Car Thieves More Sophisticated
While the technology in our vehicles continues to evolve, so do sophisticated auto thieves who are using technology to bypass security systems and electronically gain access to Canadians’ vehicles. Yesterday, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said it is finding that technology is having a major impact on vehicle thefts, evident in its annual list, released today, of Canada’s most frequently stolen vehicles.
“Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs,” said Bryan Gast, National Director of Investigative Services, IBC. “Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to Public Safety and continues to cost all Canadians.”
Auto theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion every year. This includes $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs and millions more for correctional services.
While some vehicles are stolen to commit another crime or to be used to go for a “joyride”, many others are stolen by organized crime groups to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada, shipped abroad or stripped down for parts.
IBC’s Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list is compiled using data from IBC’s member companies across the country. This year’s list includes nine vehicles that don’t have ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring a vehicle. The lack of an ignition immobilizer is the number one reason this series of Ford trucks continues to take up the majority of spots on the list.
- Ford 350SD AWD 2007
- Ford 350SD AWD 2006
- Ford 350SD AWD 2005
- Ford 350SD AWD 2004
- Ford 250SD AWD 2006
- Ford 350SD AWD 2003
- Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
- Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
- Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
- Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998
Even with today’s tech-savvy thieves, there are a number of steps Canadians can take to help protect themselves from becoming a victim of auto theft.
- Don’t leave a keyless entry fob in a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal, giving them access to the vehicle. Consider storing fobs in a protective box or bag that blocks the signal.
- Install an immobilizing device which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This can include devices that require wireless ignition authentication or starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers.
- Install a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station if a vehicle is stolen.
- Don’t make your vehicle an easy target:
- Never leave a vehicle running when unattended.
- Lock the doors and close all windows when parked.
- Make sure to park in well-lit areas or in the garage.
- Use a visible or audible device that shows thieves a vehicle is protected.
- Consider using a deterrent like a steering wheel or brake pedal lock.
- Don’t leave personal information, like insurance and ownership documents, in the glove box when parked.