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
The Canada Border Services Agency has re-opened two Nexus centers to help solve backlog issues.
'He could've been treated differently': Toronto man dies at home after several visits to local hospital
A Toronto music lover who thrived in the company of others died alone at home following three visits to a local hospital due to severe abdominal pain, according to one of his closest friends.
A Loblaw executive is disputing an accusation that the grocery giant is taking advantage of inflation to drive up its own profits.
A flu season that started early, hospitalized far more children than usual and overwhelmed emergency departments has revealed that Canada's health-care system is chronically underfunded when it comes to the most vulnerable citizens, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist says.
A Quebec civilian judge has acquitted Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin of sexual assault over an allegation that dates back to 1988. Judge Richard Meredith said he believes the complainant was sexually assaulted, but said the Crown did not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it was Fortin who had assaulted her.
A human rights organization says it has found dozens of additional overseas Chinese 'police service centres' around the world, including at least two more in Canada.
The Liberal government is listening to concerns that some of the firearms it's looking to ban are used primarily for hunting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday.
Imagine if Siri could write you a college essay, or Alexa could spit out a movie review in the style of Shakespeare.
Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price didn't know about the 1989 Polytechnique massacre that killed 14 women and wounded several others, according to statements made to Radio-Canada. The statement from Group CH, which owns the Montreal Canadiens, comes two days after the player spoke out against proposed federal gun-control legislation.
According to the health ministry, 864,062 Quebecers on the waiting list for a family doctor, a list that has more than doubled since 2018.
With the holiday season just a few weeks away, Quebec is still dealing with a triple wave of infectious respiratory diseases.
London police are investigating following an attempted robbery at a business located on Wonderland Road on Monday afternoon.
Emergency crews responded to the scene of a three-vehicle crash in northwest London, Ont. on Monday afternoon that involved fire crews having to rescue one person from a vehicle.
At least one expert says it’s too premature to say if there’s been a spike in these types of crimes, but he is taking note of the number of incidents in the last week and their proximity to each other.
Waterloo regional police have charged two 19-year-olds in connection to a stabbing last month in Waterloo that sent a teen to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Waterloo regional police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred outside a Kitchener restaurant.
A 33-year-old man from Wawa has been identified as the victim killed in the fatal crash on Highway 17 last week.
A review of Greater Sudbury’s 24 fire and paramedic stations has concluded that many of them should be consolidated, a move it said wouldn’t affect service levels or lead to layoffs.
The surge in food prices is expected to continue into the New Year, according to a new report. Canada’s Food Price Report indicates Canadians will be spending five to seven per cent more in groceries in 2023.
Four people from the Montreal area are facing dozens of criminal charges linked to vehicle thefts after Ontario Provincial Police pulled them over on Highway 401 for a traffic violation.
All lanes are closed on Highway 401 near Cornwall following a collision Monday night.
An Ottawa Lexus owner emerged from a west end mall to find some men trying to steal his SUV.
Food prices in Canada will continue to rise in the New Year, according to a new report.
When Mary Ann Andrejicka worked at Burger King in the 1960s, a Whooper cost 69 cents.
The City of Windsor has extended a temporary shelter to help evacuated tenants of an Ouellette Avenue apartment.
A 32-year-old Barrie woman charged with impaired driving following a crash that sent three people to trauma centres last week made a brief court appearance in Barrie on Monday.
Former mayor Jeff Lehman has a new position in politics as the leader of the District of Muskoka just over a month since leaving the Barrie office.
A 16-year-old boy faces charges after provincial police wrapped up a lengthy investigation into alleged social media harassment of over 20 students at a Simcoe County secondary school.
'Stabbed multiple times by a stranger': Halifax Police seek suspect in connection with random stabbing
Halifax Regional Police is looking for help in finding a suspect in connection with a stabbing in the city Friday evening.
Russell and Marie Mauger lived in their home on Tower Road for 40 years, but on Monday, they lost it in a matter of minutes.
A new poll by the Angus Reid Institute says more than half of Canadians say they will be spending less on Christmas this year.
A Canada-wide Nanos Research poll found nearly 52 per cent of respondents in the Prairies supported Ottawa’s move to invoke the Emergencies Act following the Freedom Convoy to Parliament Hill.
Facing an intensive care unit operating close to – and sometimes above – capacity, Alberta Children's Hospital has been forced to redeploy 65 staff from a mix of units.
Alberta's UCP government wants to get rid of the province's so-called "squatter's rights."
Food prices in Canada will continue to rise in the new year, according to a new study.
'Reasonable under the circumstances': No charges laid against woman after parkade altercation that left man dead
No charges will be laid against a woman involved in an altercation in The Forks parkade that resulted in a man’s death, after a review found her actions were reasonable in order to defend herself.
A flood of grief is sweeping over Richmond, after the family of a six-year-old girl says the child's life was cut tragically short following complications from the flu last month.
The Vancouver park board has voted to immediately remove the temporary bike lane on Stanley Park Drive that has been in place since early in the pandemic.
There's no relief in sight from rising grocery bills in B.C., according a report released Monday.
An Extreme Cold Warning is in effect for most of central and northern Alberta, including the City of Edmonton and surrounding areas.
What started out as a way to goof on a high-priced public art installation in Edmonton has become somewhat of a labour of love for Laurie Keindel.
Nic Dowd scored the game winner as the Washington Capitals snapped a two-game losing skid with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.