Luxury vehicle stolen from driveway of Etobicoke home while owner slept
An Etobicoke man says the same day a Lexus dealership offered him a free oil change, his luxury SUV was stolen from his driveway.
Mark Liu bought his 2016 Lexus RX 350 SUV earlier this year. He said a Lexus dealership offered him a free oil change and later that same night the SUV was stolen.
“We are baffled as to how they did this. There was no break and enter and they were able to drive away with the car," Liu said.
His neighbour's security camera shows video of someone walking up to his SUV and after about three minutes they open the door and drive it away. Liu said he was aware that Lexus SUVs could be a target for thieves and was advised to place his key fobs in Faraday pouches, which are designed to block wireless signals and prevent theft. Liu said the fobs were in the pouches when the theft happened.
“The night of the theft the key fobs were nice and snug in the pouches,” Liu said.
In November of last year, CTV News Toronto previous reported on a man who had his Lexus SUV stolen three times. The first time it was stolen, Lee Wellbanks replaced it with another Lexus SUV, which was also stolen. The third vehicle, which was stolen, was recovered by police.
“They can boost your car's computer system and drive it away within seconds,” Wellbanks said.
The 2015 Lexus GX460 SUV is listed as one of the top 10 vehicles stolen in Canada in 2018. There is a concern that thieves are now using new technology to copy or override systems that allow people to unlock doors and start a vehicle.
Some thieves steal high-end cars using a relay box that sends a signal to keys inside the house and within seconds they are able to drive off in a car.
A spokesperson for Lexus Canada told CTV News Toronto that they are “committed to helping address the security challenges that are facing the entire auto industry by continuing to develop technology that strengthens the security of our vehicles."
Lexus Canada also said that when it comes to auto theft, some vehicles are in higher demand than others. The car company says it is working with insurance companies and the police to try and assist with investigations related to vehicle theft.
Liu says his child’s car seat, stroller and crib were inside the stolen SUV.
He was concerned the dealership immediately tried to sell him another vehicle.
“The dealership was quick to say they would sell me another car and I said ‘I’m still concerned about the one that's not in my driveway anymore,’" Liu said.
Liu says his insurance company has settled with him over the SUV theft, but he has not yet replaced it. He said he wants to make sure the next vehicle he buys won’t be one that thieves can easily steal.