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car theft
Jun 7, 2024
3 min

Tips to Help Keep your Car from Being Stolen

Vehicle theft is on the rise and while it affects people across the country, Ontario is the hardest hit. In Ontario alone, auto theft claims costs increased by over 500% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 2023. And, this year will be the second in a row that it will exceed $1 billion.

While the police and government officials are trying to crack down on vehicle theft, there are a few things you can do to help protect your vehicle from being targeted.   

Steps to Take:        

With vehicle theft on the rise, you want to be more vigilant in taking steps to minimize the risk of yours being stolen: 
1. Lock your doors and close windows when parked
2. Park in well-lit areas or in a locked garage
3. Use a steering wheel or brake lock
4. Install a car alarm and/or tracking device
5. Don't leave valuables in plain sight
6. Use a data port lock to prevent thieves from reprogramming your vehicle
7. Keep keys in a metal/aluminum box to block the radio signals
8. Keep keys away from the front door so thieves can’t easily copy your keys

To protect your identification, you can consider making photocopies of your insurance and ownership documents so if your car is stolen the originals are not lost.

What to do if your vehicle is stolen: 

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of  having your car stolen, here are the necessary steps to take: 
1. Call the Police to report the theft and file a police report
2. Inform your Insurance Provider and fill out an incident report
3. Contact the manufacturer/dealership to determine if they can help locate your vehicle
4. Protect yourself from identity theft if you have personal information in the car
5. Keep records of theft details, car details, and police report when filing a claim

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Keep a record of the following information handy to help identify your vehicle:

  • Year and make, model, colour
  • Licence plate number
  • Insurance policy number or certificate number
  • Location of the theft
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Serial numbers of all special equipment
  • Special markings such as dents, scratches, other damage etc.
  • Contact information of any witnesses

Speak to your insurance advisor anytime to discuss what type of coverage you have on your existing auto insurance policy. If your vehicle is stolen, or an incident occurs, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re covered.

What Vehicles are High Targets for Thieves?

While some makes and models of cars are more prone to theft you still want to protect your vehicle as best you can. But which models are more vulnerable? Here are a few of the more common types of vehicles that thieves are targeting across the province.

Topping the list was the Honda CR-V, which was also the most commonly stolen vehicle in Canada, the Lexus RX Series, and the Dodge RAM 1500 Series, with most models being 2020 or newer.

Other models include Toyota Highlander, Land Rover Range Rover, Ford F150 Series, Jeep Cherokee/Wrangler, Honda Civic, and Acura. SUVs and pickup trucks seem to be popular targets for thieves.

Protect Yourself from Buying a Stolen Car

Lastly, if you are in the market for buying a used car and unsure if the seller is legit, there are a few things you can do to ensure you are not buying a stolen vehicle. 
Ask the seller for the vehicle’s service records and/or to see the previous bill of sale or receipt. Also, take note of the Vehicle Identification Number & complete a VIN check. You can also cross reference the Government of Canada’s Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) website. Otherwise, you may want to consider buying a used car from a dealership.
Taking these steps will help ensure your car is best protected against thieves. The last thing you want to do is have to file a claim for a stolen vehicle or be at risk of buying a stolen vehicle.

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