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Preventing Auto Theft

Preventing Auto Theft
In the last year, there has been a surge in auto theft across Canada. In Toronto alone, more than 8,000 vehicles were reported stolen in 2022, an increase from about 5,600 in 2021. In Canada, there were 217.77 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents. 

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), auto theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion each year, which includes approximately $500,000 to fix or replace stolen vehicles.

With keyless entry, GPS, and mobile apps, vehicles are getting smarter and easier to break into. Thieves are using technology to "bypass security systems". It's not about stealing keys or manually hot wiring anymore. Thieves are intercepting signals between vehicles and the key or entry fob. If the two are in close proximity, thieves can capture the signal with ease.

Even without a key, a thief can steal a vehicle in about 30 seconds.

Many are surprised to learn that the vast majority of stolen vehicles are never recovered. These stolen vehicles are most often taken to “chop shops” where they are disassembled, stripped of parts and sold for profit. According to the IBC, these vehicles or parts are then shipped to destinations far from Canada, such as China, West Africa, and the Middle East.

Auto theft can occur anywhere: in a parking lot, on the side of the street or even from a driveway. It’s often utilizing common sense to best help prevent vehicular theft.

  • Don’t leave vehicles running or with the keys in them when unattended.
  • Always lock the doors and keep the windows closed when not in use.
  • Be mindful when leaving pets in an unattended vehicle, either running or with a window down. This presents an easy opportunity for thieves to gain access to an auto and a beloved pet.
  • Park in well-lit and high-traffic areas when possible.
  • Invest in anti-theft devices.
  • Vehicles with valuables visible within are more likely to be targeted.
  • Remove valuables or lock them away from sight in the trunk.
Using a little common sense can help prevent you from being a victim of auto theft. If you know of auto theft or insurance fraud, take the time and report to crime, anonymously to the IBC: 1-877-422-8477