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
A veteran and former Paralympian told a parliamentary committee that a caseworker from the Veterans Affairs Canada offered her medical assistance in dying, a week after the veterans affairs minister confirmed that at least four other veterans were offered the same thing.
As Canada enters the fifth week of the flu epidemic, influenza activity is rising, with mainly young children and older adults facing the brunt of the strain, according to the latest FluWatch report.
'Maybe the bully could do some good': Canadian actor on fundraiser, and sale of 'A Christmas Story' house
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the house featured in the holiday film 'A Christmas Story' is up for sale. Leg lamp and all.
FBI Director Chris Wray is raising national security concerns about TikTok, warning Friday that control of the popular video sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government "that doesn't share our values."
A U.S. woman was killed and four other passengers injured when a massive wave struck the Viking Polaris cruise ship while it was sailing toward the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina on an Antarctic cruise, authorities said.
The Bank of Canada is expected to conclude a historic year marked by high inflation and aggressive monetary policy tightening with one more interest rate hike on Wednesday.
Myanmar's military-installed government has sentenced more critics to death, bringing the total to 139, and is using capital punishment as a tool to crush opposition, the UN high commissioner for human rights said Friday.
Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world's environmental problems through "hope, optimism and urgency."
America's newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon's answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China.
Run, Hide, Fight: Quebec college aims to prepare students for active shooter as police investigate lockdown
Laval police parked a command post outside College Montmorency Friday with hopes to shed light on the shooting that sent four to hospital and pushed the school into lockdown. Meanwhile, Dawson College sent out a memo to students and staff on shooter preparedness, and Quebec's education minister pondered bumping up training in schools.
The fences are up, the flights are booked, and the programs are set –- Montreal will host thousands of people attending and presenting at the upcoming COP15 biodiversity conference at the Palais des Congres. Here’s what you need to know to get around.
Quebec's human rights commission was forced to close 194 discrimination complaints following the Supreme Court of Canada's Mike Ward decision, commission leaders revealed Friday while presenting their activity report for the year 2021-2022.
The City of London began its annual “Lighting of the Lights” event at Victoria Park on Friday evening.
With community consultations now complete, the design and construction of the Community Addictions Hub for Sarnia-Lambton is ready to move forward. It's viewed as a significant advancement in the effort to help people cope with addictions and find a road to recovery.
City hall finally provided a rationale why specific city parks were selected to be on a list where homeless encampments are proactively removed.
Kitchener firefighters were called to put out flames at a construction trailer early Friday morning, and inside, they found a body.
Woodstock police say new child porn charges have been laid against a former doctor.
Environment Canada has issued a wind warning for much of southwestern Ontario saying strong gusts are expected Saturday morning and continuing into the afternoon.
On Friday afternoon at the Sudbury Courthouse, two men pled guilty in an arson case that killed three people in a townhouse on Bruce Avenue in April 2021.
A Timmins doctor charged with sexual assault in July is facing several more charges after five more people came forward, police said Friday.
The Timmins and District Hospital's assessment clinic has been busy seeing people with respiratory illnesses.
Ottawa police report 'surge' in vehicle thefts from malls, grocery stores and recreation centre parking lots
Ottawa police are urging motorists to be vigilant while parking at shopping malls, grocery stores, and recreation and sporting venues this holiday season, following an increase in daylight vehicle thefts.
At a time when there is a critical shortage of nurses in Ontario, the Arnprior Regional Hospital is taking a different approach to retain their staff.
In its weekly Respiratory Virus Snapshot, OPH says the wastewater viral signals show "moderate" levels of RSV and COVID-19, while the influenza levels are "high".
Nearly a day after witnessing a mysterious stream of light beaming through the evening skies while driving through Windsor, Ont., Bassem Mazloum still wasn’t sure what he had witnessed.
'Tis the season to be jolly and the return of Bright Lights Windsor is about to shine during the holidays.
City works to find housing solutions for displaced 1616 Ouellette residents before shelter closes Monday
A deadline is looming for residents of 1616 Ouellette Avenue who were evacuated from their homes two weeks ago over safety concerns at the apartment.
A woman faces impaired driving charges following a collision that seriously injured multiple people at Bayview Drive and Mapleview Drive East in Barrie Thursday evening.
More than two dozen firefighters battled flames and heavy smoke after a fire erupted at an industrial site in Bracebridge.
It's the season of giving, and the South Simcoe Police Service is truly getting in the spirit of the season.
Two people are in custody after a shooting in the Fredericton area left two people injured and prompted police to issue an emergency alert in New Brunswick.
Four organizations representing Greater Moncton’s business community held a press conference Friday calling for urgent action in regards to downtown safety and the homelessness situation.
Nova Scotia’s latest Respiratory Watch data shows that in the last three weeks of November, lab-confirmed cases more than doubled each week.
Respite admissions at Rotary Flames House in Calgary will be paused and staff redeployed to help with the ongoing struggle at Alberta Children's Hospital.
Alberta’s premier is doubling down on claims her sovereignty act will boost the province’s fortunes – and she already knows how she might use the bill.
A Red Deer man has been charged in a deadly head-on crash on Deerfoot Trail on Friday.
The lawyer representing a Winnipeg man accused of killing four Indigenous women says his client 'absolutely' maintains his innocence and intends to plead not guilty.
School divisions in and around Winnipeg are dealing with a lack of bus drivers, which is leading to some routes being cancelled.
Dozens of people gathered Friday morning in Steinbach to search for a man missing more than a week.
Bus drivers are speaking out about the terrible road conditions that put them in danger during this week's snowstorm.
The minister responsible for child care in B.C. reaffirmed that the province is looking at ways to increase wages for early childhood educators, as child-care subsidies kick in.
A Chilliwack senior came up with a sweet idea to spread some cheer in her community this Christmas season.
The cause of a suspicious death at an Edmonton encampment this week is being withheld for 'investigative reasons,' the city's police service said on Friday.
It was grannies' night behind the Edmonton Oilers bench at Rogers Place last Monday night. A group of friends from Whitecourt, Alta., attended the game against the Florida Panthers in grannies costumes and stayed in character all night.
Ponoka RCMP are searching for two people who witnesses saw flee from a vehicle that hit two people the afternoon of Nov. 30.