Car theft is a pretty huge deal in Canada, costing Canadians almost $1 billion every year. As such, it's important to know how it is done so you can prevent it from happening. The most stolen automobiles in Canada are older models but thieves are learning to bypass technology in newer ones too.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada's (IBC) annual list of vehicles stolen most often in Canada, technology is having a big impact on thefts. Whether that be newer tech thieves are getting around or older vehicles not having technology in place to stop them — it's a problem.
The IBC's stolen vehicles list has nine that do not have ignition immobilizers, devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring them.
As technology continues to change, thieves are also using it to get electronic access and bypass security systems.
"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 for the IBC, in a news release. "Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to public safety and continues to cost all Canadians."
Since Ford trucks lack an ignition immobilizer, many of them are in the top 10. Ford trucks take up 8 of the 10 spots on the stolen automobiles 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
While Lexus is only seventh on the list, drivers are being warned about that brand specifically.
According to the CBC, security experts are warning Lexus and Toyota owners not to rely on their car's anti-theft system since more than 100 have been stolen in Ottawa since April.
The automobiles are driven right out of the owner's driveway in the middle of the night when it's dark out and the thieves never have to get their hands on the keys.
In these thefts and others across the country, a wireless transmitter is used to boost the radio signal from the key fob which lets them unlock the car without the keys.
Since auto thefts cost Canadians so much, including $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care, and court system costs and more for correctional services, the IBC also released tips to prevent this kind of crime.
Avoid leaving your vehicle's keyless entry fob in your car or unprotected near the entrances of your home. That will make it harder for thieves to use those wireless transmitters.
You should also install an ignition immobilizer and a tracking device that sends out a signal in case of theft.
To avoid making your vehicle an easy target, lock all the doors and close all the windows when it is parked, park in well-lit areas or in your garage, and use a device that is visible or audible to show thieves your automobile is protected. Also, do not leave personal information in there and do not leave it running and unattended.
The next time you park your car, you might want to take a minute to think about if it is really protected from thieves, especially if it is on this list.