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How a Mississauga man defeated car thieves twice in one night

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A Mississauga man’s SUV was targeted twice by thieves in the space of three hours early Friday morning, but they were stopped twice by a secondary security system that caught their frustration and surprise on a dashcam video.

Now, that driver is advising others that if they don’t want their car to join those in the soaring statistics of car theft, they need to upgrade their security as the arms race continues against tech-savvy, organized thieves driven by profit.

“It seems like they’re professional. They know what they were doing. It could have taken a couple seconds and they would have been gone with the vehicle,” said the driver, who asked to go by his first name of Andrew as he had just been the victim of an attempted theft of his 2023 Dodge Durango.

“But they didn’t make off with it,” he said.

His video shows how the attempted crime happened. Just after midnight, a pair driving a white Honda Civic appear to be slowly cruising through the plentiful outdoor parking lots of Mississauga apartment buildings.

They spy the Durango and turn around. A man in black and a woman wearing a brown puffy coat get out to inspect the car. The man tries the door – it stays locked – and they get back in the vehicle and drive off.

Then, just after 3:30 in the morning, the Civic returns, and backs in directly in front of the Durango. Both get out, compare notes, and the man in black ducks under the hood, possibly to disable the car’s horn, which would stop an alarm from going off when the car’s securities are breached.

In the video, he appears to be holding a cellphone and a small antenna, When his partner smashes a back window, the car chirps as if its driver had just pressed a button on the fob.

But within a few seconds, the car’s security system re-arms, and the alarm starts blaring. Clearly surprised, the two would-be thieves scatter back to their Honda Civic and leave the site.

Andrew says he was woken up by an alarm on his phone. It relayed live video of what was happening.

The device that Andrew used is one of several offered by Compustar, which can be installed for about $1000, said Kirsten Sverdrup of Cobra Car and Truck Accessories.

“I get calls all the time about people who have told me, hey, your system saved my car. I have one customer, they’ve tried to steal her car four times and every time they haven’t been able to,” Sverdrup said.

Auto theft has soared to more than 10,000 cars stolen in Toronto alone this year, police say. Peel’s Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said the stolen cars are often used in other crimes, or can be shipped overseas and sold at a markup.

“Canada is now a source country for stolen autos around the world. It is the third largest revenue source for organized crime,” said Duraiappah.

“In Peel, we’ve expanded and increased our investment into our commercial auto crimes bureau, doubling it in its size in the last year, making it one of the largest auto crimes units in the province and in Canada.”

Sverdrup said thieves are constantly upgrading their techniques and for those who aren’t taking the increasing threat seriously, she says: “I’ll see you when you get your new car.”

Andrew has had to repair the window in the Durango. But he says he’d rather repair his car than replace it. He says other drivers should install third party security gear to try and make a dent in the statistics of rising auto theft.

“It’s a huge problem and it’s not slowing down. It’s getting worse,” he said.

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