Why your car can get stolen and how to stop it in Ontario
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) alerted the public of the uptick in carjackings in the city on Tuesday.
In a news conference at Toronto Police Headquarters Tuesday afternoon, police revealed there have been 182 carjackings so far this year, which is 80 more reported incidents compared to 2021.
Insp. Rich Harris from the Hold Up Squad said 56 of the stolen vehicles in these carjackings have been found.
“Many of these investigations are active and ongoing and we’re working with police services across every jurisdiction to solve these crimes in a timely fashion,” Harris said.
Due to the significant rise in carjackings in Toronto, here is a rundown of why your car could get stolen, which cars are the most highly sought-after by thieves, and what to do if your car has been stolen.
WHY CARS GET STOLEN
According to Toronto police, thieves often steal vehicles to sell them or some of their parts. They could also just use the car to take them from point A to point B, and then after, abandon it.
Police say vehicles can also be stolen to help them commit other crimes, like robberies, drug deals, or drive-by shootings.
Another reason thieves go after cars is for “vehicle cloning”, which is when a legitimately-owned car’s identity – its vehicle identification number – is used on a stolen vehicle.
“Vehicles are stolen, given a fraudulent identification number and then sold to unsuspecting persons who are defrauded of their money,” police wrote in a pamphlet sent to CTV Toronto.
ONTARIO’S MOST COMMONLY STOLEN VEHICLES IN 2021
According to a December report from Équité Association, a Canadian organization dedicated to reducing and preventing insurance fraud, the most commonly stolen cars in the province last year were the Lexus RX series, Honda CR-Vs, and Honda Civics.
Toronto police also had these cars among the top three most sought-after vehicles for thieves in the city.
This is Ontario's full top 10 list from Équité Association, including vehicle models, makes, and years:
- Lexus RX, SUV, 2018
- Honda CR-V, SUV, 2019
- Honda Civic, Sedan, 2019
- Toyota Highlander, SUV, 2019
- Chevrolet/GMC, Silverado/Sierra 1500, 2500, 3500, Truck, 2017
- Ford, F-150, F-250, F-350, F-450, Truck, 2019
- Dodge Ram, 1500, 2500, 3500, Truck, 2019
- Honda Accord, Sedan, 2018
- Toyota Corolla, Sedan, 2017
- Land Rover, Range Rover, SUV, 2016
Meanwhile, in Toronto, Honda CR-Vs were the top most stolen vehicles in Toronto in 2021, and Hyundai Elantras also cracked TPS’s list.
In Tuesday's news conference, Harris said on top of Hondas and Toyotas, high-end cars like Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches and Lamborghinis are targets for carjackers in Toronto.
HOW TO REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING YOUR CAR STOLEN
When parking in public, police advise against leaving your car running – even if you’re running an errand for just a minute. They also say to bring your keys with you, lock all of the doors and windows, and turn your wheels toward the curb to make it harder to tow.
At home, Toronto police recommend parking rear-wheel drive vehicles – cars whose rear wheels do most of the pushing – backed into a driveway. Front-wheel drive cars, or vehicles where the engine is at the front, are recommended to be parked front-end first.
They also suggest making a photocopy of your ownership or insurance cards to leave inside of your vehicle instead of the original.
Other helpful advice Toronto police provided is to never hide a spare key in the vehicle or leave anything on display, like your purse or charging devices. They also remind car owners to take out any items they wouldn’t want to lose.
There are a few more tips CAA South Central Ontario (CAASCO) recommends to keep both you and your vehicle safe.
For yourself, CAASCO says to park your car in a well-lit, high-traffic area, and at home, consider installing a home security camera system that looks over your parking space.
If you see someone heading to your vehicle and you suspect you’re being followed, they recommend making some noise to attract attention and activating your car’s alarm with your key fob.
As for your vehicle, CAASCO recommends keeping your wireless key fob away from the front door or using a Faraday box or pouch to block its signal in order to prohibit remote entry to the vehicle.
They also say to install a GPS tracker, though it won’t necessarily deter theft – after all, York police shared late last year thieves can use Apple AirTags and its technology to track and steal high-end vehicles.
CAASCO also advises using an immobilizer, which is an electronic security device that will start your vehicle’s engine only if the right key is present. This can prevent thieves from hotwiring your car.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR IS STOLEN
If your vehicle is stolen, police say to contact them immediately, and be ready to provide the following information to them:
- The year, model, make and colour of the vehicle
- Licence number
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Serial numbers of all special equipment
- Special markings - dents, scratches, other damage etc.
- Detailed information on any accessories stolen from the vehicle
With files from CTV Toronto’s Abby O’Brien and Phil Tsekouras, and CP24’s Kerrisa Wilson.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canadian military would be 'challenged' to launch a large scale operation: chief of the defence staff
Canada’s military forces are 'ready' to meet their commitments should Russia's war in Ukraine spread to NATO countries, but it would be a 'challenge' to launch a larger scale operation in the long term, with ongoing personnel and equipment shortages, according to Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.
Protests against China's restrictive COVID-19 measures appeared to roil in a number of cities Saturday night, in displays of public defiance fanned by anger over a deadly fire in the western Xinjiang region.
A 12-year-old boy is dead after playing Russian Roulette with peers in Jackson, Miss., police say.
Alcohol and speed were factors in a tragic collision that killed three junior hockey players in B.C.'s Lower Mainland last year, according to a coroner's report.
In less than 24 hours, Canada returns to the men’s FIFA World Cup for its next group stage match against Croatia. CTVNews.ca takes a look at what you need to know ahead of the game on Sunday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country's ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful nuclear force, as he promoted dozens of military officers involved in the recent launch of North Korea's largest ballistic missile, state media reported on Sunday.
A man went missing from a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. What happened next might well be a 'Thanksgiving miracle'
A passenger went missing from a Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Quick thinking and a 'miracle' saved the man's life.
With a seemingly endless list of choices, finding the right toy this holiday season may seem like a daunting task. Industry observers share the toys that caught their eyes this year.
Health officials across the country have stopped short of issuing mask mandates, despite rising cases of flu, RSV and COVID-19 in many regions. CTVNews.ca looks into how each province and territory is approaching whether to require masks in indoor public spaces.
Revenu Quebec confirmed on Friday citizens will start receiving their $400 to $600 cheques to combat inflation in early December. At the same time, the agency is cautioning Quebecers to beware of fraud text messages and emails.
With the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) right around the corner, Montreal protestors are readying themselves for a busy December. On Saturday, a group of COP15 objectors gathered in the McGill University student union building for a seminar on protestor safety, police interactions and legal support.
Montreal-based Warner Bros. Entertainment release of Gotham Knights prompted calls for gaming companies to properly credit their workers. The issue is one that extends to many leading video game companies.
They’ve travelled from across the country to see their sons, brothers, and alma mater compete for the Vanier Cup
Thousands of Londoners lined Gainsborough road Saturday morning to see the man in red
This weekend local army reservists are taking part in training exercises across the province as the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have had to respond to more natural disasters in recent years.
‘Worked so hard to get to today’: Trustee speaks out after Cambridge confirms WCDSB election results
More than a month after Ontario’s municipal elections, the City of Cambridge clerk certified the results for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) trustee election.
A pedestrian has been seriously injured following a collision at a busy Kitchener roundabout.
Commercial flights in and out of Region of Waterloo International Airport were cancelled Friday after a Flair Airlines plane carrying 140 people overran the runway during landing.
Throughout the afternoon Saturday, the Sudbury Five basketball team held an open tryouts at Notre Dame College on Lévis Street. Around a dozen people from across Ontario made their way to the city in hopes of making the team.
A Goulais, Ont. based tour agency was among eight award winners at the annual Northern Ontario Tourism Awards Summit this week.
The 3rd annual Let's Remember Adam Fill the Bus Toy and Food Drive took place in Mattawa Saturday.
Ontario Provincial Police say officers are at the scene of a blaze in Portland, Ont. where a vehicle fire has spread to a home.
The city councillor who represents the Mooney’s Bay area is speaking out after city staff decided to install fencing this winter to prevent people from sledding at Mooney’s Bay Park.
The Brockville community is showing their support this weekend for a teenager battling a deadly disease.
'I was at the right place at the right time,' Windsor Goodfellows volunteer goes viral after showing act of kindness
A volunteer with Windsor’s Goodfellows is overwhelmed with the response he’s received since a video of him offering to make a donation on someone’s behalf has amassed more than 27 million views on TikTok
An emergency town hall meeting is giving people the opportunity to weigh in on how the community should respond to an incident which saw a Windsor teacher reportedly use a racist slur twice in front of students.
An iconic stopover for students at the University of Windsor is closing its doors after more than three decades in business.
A Barrie couple who found love in the military is celebrating a significant wedding milestone.
A Bracebridge resort has been convicted of violating Ontario's Public Lands Act, receiving upwards of $180,000 in fines.
The Anne Street bridge project in Barrie is experiencing delays, with the Ministry of Transportation saying it likely won't be finished until sometime next year.
Friends of a man who died waiting for care inside the Moncton Hospital’s ER waiting room this past week held a demonstration Saturday outside the building, demanding answers and action.
A Moncton family is breathing a sigh of relief after police misidentified a body found, but questions remain about how law enforcement made the serious mix-up.
A new proposal from Nova Scotia Power would see electricity rates rise nearly 14 per cent by 2024, despite efforts to limit increases by the province.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is eyeing emergency provisions to deal with a surge of patients inside the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Calgarians gathered Saturday to commemorate the 89th anniversary of the Holodomor, known as the terror-famine in the Soviet Union that killed millions of Ukrainians from 1932 to 1933.
Twelve new Calgary Transit and community peace officers are ready to hit the streets.
Manitoba RCMP are on the hunt for a Winnipeg man after a woman and her daughter were briefly kidnapped near Portage la Prairie Friday afternoon.
The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) is giving kids the chance to help pets in need this holiday season.
Winnipeg police are looking for suspects in the city's 47th homicide of the year.
Canada's supply of children's cold and flu medication increased by more than 2 million units this week, but it's not known when supplies will arrive in B.C., or how many are on the way to the province.
Temperatures are expected to dip below zero this weekend, a forecast that can be frighteningly cold for those who call the streets their home.
Two B.C. nurses were disciplined by their professional college this week for diverting narcotics from their workplaces.
Edmonton transit drivers are sharing images of what they are seeing on buses and the LRT on a sometimes daily basis in the hopes it will push the city to hire more transit peace officers.
An Edmonton woman appeared on an episode of Jeopardy Friday night, completing a lifelong dream and getting the chance to compete against a 14-day champion.
Beck Antiques and Jewellery's new location in Sherwood Park Mall was robbed Saturday morning, with thieves making off with several items, including coins and antique bills.