If you’re a car owner, you're probably aware of the escalating threat of vehicle theft in our country. With car thieves zeroing in on specific makes and models, often in particular areas, it's become imperative to take proactive steps to secure your asset. In this article, we'll delve into the concerning surge in auto theft across Canada and guide you through essential measures to shield your vehicle.
According to Toronto Police Services, a staggering 9,600 vehicles were stolen in 2022 alone. A 2023 report from the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association revealed that, on average, a car is stolen every six minutes, underscoring the urgency of safeguarding your investment. The surge in auto theft can be attributed to organized crime rings exploiting Canadian ports to export stolen cars internationally. These illicit activities fund a range of criminal endeavours. The Équité Association, a not-for-profit organization specializing in insurance fraud and crime investigations, reported that the insurance industry suffered losses exceeding $1 billion in 2022 from vehicle theft claims a significant increase from the $700 million recorded in 2021.
Luxury SUVs, particularly those manufactured after 2017, are prime targets due to their advanced technology and high resale value. The specific trends in car theft vary by province, with Ontario seeing a notable increase in Lexus thefts due to its prevalence in cities like Toronto, while trucks like the Ford F-350 are common targets in Alberta and Western Canada, particularly in farming communities. It’s vital to be aware of the top 10 stolen vehicles in the country:
- Honda CR-V (2016-2021)
- Lexus RX Series (2016-2021)
- Ford F150 Series (2015-2020)
- Honda Civic (2016-2021)
- Toyota Highlander (2013-2019)
- Ram 1500 Series (2011-2018)
- Chevrolet/GMC Silverado/Sierra 1500 (1999-2006)
- Honda Accord (2018-2021)
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Toyota RAV4 (2013-2018)
(source: Équité Association)
These vehicles are particularly targeted by thieves, making it even more essential to implement robust security measures to protect your car.
To protect your vehicle effectively and potentially qualify for reduced insurance premiums, consider implementing the following measures in addition to installing a GPS tracking device and an anti-theft system:
- Steering Wheel Locks: These visible deterrents make it challenging for thieves to drive away with your vehicle quickly.
- Secure Parking: Opt for well-lit parking areas monitored by guards and/or security cameras. For vehicles with keyless start features, use enclosed garages when possible.
- Valuables: Never leave keys or valuable items in plain sight within your car, as items like laptops, smartphones, or bags can tempt thieves.
- Lock and Roll: Always lock your vehicle and roll up your windows when parking.
- Key Fob Protection: Store your key fob away from doors and windows or use a signal-blocking bag or pouch.
- Immobilizer: Consider installing an immobilizer to prevent hotwiring, a technique where thieves bypass the ignition system to start the engine.
In the unfortunate event of your car being stolen, prioritize your safety and, if necessary, comply with the thieves. Promptly report the theft to the police, providing essential details and any security footage available. Contact your insurer without delay and share relevant information to facilitate recovery efforts or valuation procedures.
(source: The Globe & Mail)