A massive rise in an auto theft ring in the Greater Toronto Area has been met with unease.
The last thing you want is to walk out the front door of your home to find your vehicle is missing.
When a thief breaks into a vehicle, that’s one thing but when they take the whole nine yards, that’s a big problem.
Today, I want to discuss auto theft and how Canadians can prevent and protect themselves from would-be thieves.
It can happen to YOU!
Increase Of Auto Theft In Canada
At the end of 2022, Dodge Ram owners in South Western Ontario scrambled to secure their vehicles to deter auto theft.
Carjackings are up 45% and auto theft in the Missausage and Brampton area had increased by a whopping 30%.
Places like Edmonton have also been part of the Dodge Ram auto theft ring, as police warned Dodge owners in November 2022.
The EPS TRAP (Targeted Response to Auto-theft Prevention) team is investigating a series of at least 11 thefts of high-end Dodge models that have occurred since early November throughout the city.
Thefts have specifically targeted 2021 and 2022 model Dodge Ram TRX trucks valued at $140,000 and up, some Dodge Durango Hellcat editions valued at more than $150,000, and a few Dodge Ram 1500 limited series trucks.
The vehicles are all equipped with push-button starts, and it is believed thieves are using cloned key fobs to defeat the vehicles’ anti-theft systems.Edmontonpolice.ca
In the first seven days of 2023, there have already been 95 stolen vehicles in Brampton and Mississauga.
A staggering 42 of the 95 stolen vehicles in this auto theft ring were trucks and the rest were automobiles.
Auto theft has been so pressing for truck owners that there’s been a Facebook group started called Ontario Stolen Trucks.
“My truck was stolen on Jan 6 in Orangeville, a 2022 Ram 1500 Sport”, stated Facebook user Michael DeMedeiros.
Another group member Isabelle Marois left a comment about her stolen truck that is discouraging for owners like myself.
Don’t want to complain but I was told by police that my truck has mostly gone to Montreal port. Once the vehicles are in those big cargo containers, police need a warrant to look in cargos.
They actually need to to know which bin to ask the warrant for, so basically they can’t do anything.
It will actually worsen . I am very discouraged. So i, ve been pending for 13 hrs. My truck sure isn’t in Ontario anymore!Ontario Stolen Trucks Facebook
Purpose Of Auto Theft
Auto theft comes with a purpose, and although number one seems silly, it happens far more often than you think.
When Mrs. CBB was in college, her vehicle was stolen and taken for a joy ride and then dumped at the side of a country road.
Thankfully she had insurance; however, the resale value of her 1983 Pony wasn’t much.
- Just because they can and want to go for a ride.
- Crime – The getaway vehicle.
- Auto theft ring sells vehicles abroad for cash.
- Stolen vehicles are sold to unsuspecting buyers using a fake Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Top 10 Stolen Vehicles Across Canada
Equité Association, a national organization founded to reduce and prevent insurance fraud and crime, published a list of the top 10 stolen cars in Canada in 2021.
You can also search previous years and the top 10 stolen vehicles by region.
- Honda CR-V. 2016-2021. 236,555. 4,117. …
- Lexus RX Series. 2016-2021. 34,560. 2,202. …
- Ford F150 Series. 2015-2020. 292,127. 1,182. …
- Honda Civic. 2016-2021. 263,958. 768. …
- Toyota Highlander. 2013-2019. 64,893. 748. …
- Ram 1500 Series. 2011-2018. 295,341. 509. …
- Chevrolet/ GMC Silverado/ Sierra1500. …
- Honda Accord. 2018-2021. 28,692.
- Jeep Grand Cherokee 2011-2020
- Toyota Rav4 2013-2018
Reporting Auto Theft
What do you do if your car is stolen?
It’s always a good idea to take multiple photos of your vehicle inside and outside.
Having photos available allows the owner to offer a visual of the vehicle to the police, insurance, or the public.
- Report your stolen vehicle to the police
- Call your insurance company to report your vehicle as stolen
- Use social media to communicate that your vehicle has been stolen.
- Track the vehicle if you have a GPS device installed.
How To Prevent Auto Theft
Right away, I started to investigate how I could prevent the auto theft of my 2017 Dodge Ram Laramie.
Below is a list of auto theft preventative measures I’ve taken apart from parking in our garage.
Unfortunately, my truck is a tiny bit too big to fit in our garage, so it’s important for me to take all precautions.
- Don’t share on social media that you are going on holiday or out of town.
- Do not keep a keyless entry fob inside the vehicle.
- Install security cameras around the exterior of your home.
- Never leave a vehicle running or warming up unattended.
- Install an anti-theft system if your vehicle does not already come with one.
- Ensure proper lighting for your property.
- Install an immobilizing device that deters thieves from bypassing the ignition to hot wire the vehicle,
- Store your vehicle in a garage if possible.
- Lock all of your doors by doing an auto theft prevention safety check.
- Ensure all windows are rolled up.
- Remove all valuables and cash from the vehicle before exiting.
- Bring your licence and registration into your home at night.
- Cover your VIN with tape before retiring for the evening.
- Pull your truck as close as you can to the garage door.
- Purchase a steering wheel lock similar to “The Club“.
- Install a brake or clutch lock.
- Store key fobs and keys away from any doors and windows in front of your home.
- Install a GPS tracker on your vehicle.
- Use a Faraday box or a Faraday pouch to store your keyfob and keys.
- Install an auto theft kill switch.
Protect Your Livelihood
Getting to and from work and around town with my family is very important.
I know that I have insurance on my truck, but it’s still an inconvenience if it were to be stolen.
I’d also be faced with purchasing another vehicle if mine is not found with the insurance money.
Since my truck is a 2017 model, I’d get nothing near what I paid for it, a $47,000 used dealer model with 6000kms.
A vehicle is a depreciating asset which means as soon as you drive it off the lot, the value reduction begins.
In my case, I might have to stump up more money to find the same truck in a similar condition.
Depending on how long you get a rental car from your insurance company doesn’t leave much time to source and purchase a new or used vehicle.
Auto theft should be significant to everyone who owns a vehicle because, in part, it’s the reason insurance premiums increase.
Discussion: Have you ever had your vehicle stolen?
Share your comments below.
Thanks for stopping by,
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