In Ontario, most stolen vehicles are new models (2017+), targeted by organized crime for the large profits from overseas sales. The low recovery rates of 45% in Ontario and 34% in Quebec1 suggest these vehicles are primarily exported or ‘re-vinned’ and sold within Canada, deceiving unsuspecting buyers.
The first and most basic rule is to always lock your car doors. It might seem obvious, but it’s surprising how often this simple precaution is ignored, especially when parking in seemingly safe, familiar areas. An unlocked car door can be an open invitation to opportunistic thieves. Regardless of where you’re parking, ensure your vehicle is always locked, and windows are fully closed.
Keys also play a significant role in theft prevention. Hiding a spare key somewhere on your vehicle may seem like a clever idea, but remember that thieves know the usual hiding spots. Instead, store your spare key securely at home. In the case of keyless cars, consider storing your keys in a metal box or a signal-blocking pouch when not in use to prevent relay attacks.
Strategic parking is another crucial factor in deterring car theft. Aim to park in well-lit, busy areas whenever possible. Car thieves often prefer isolated, dark areas where they can operate undisturbed. Secure parking garages offer good protection, and at home, using a garage or installing motion-sensing lights to illuminate your driveway can significantly deter potential thieves.
To deter theft of property from inside your vehicle, always keep anything of value and anything that might look like it could be hiding something valuable (a backpack on a passenger seat, for example) out of sight.
The goal of these precautions isn’t to make a vehicle theft-proof – unfortunately, no measure can fully guarantee that – but to make it less appealing to thieves. Following these preventive steps can significantly decrease the chance of becoming a victim of car theft.
Remember, as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Your vehicle’s security is well worth the effort!