Whether parked on driveways or parking lots, vehicles are always at risk of being targeted by thieves.
Even so, Constable Brian Montague from the Vancouver Police Department [VPD] insisted that there are things motorists can do to reduce, if not entirely eliminate, the possibility of becoming another statistic.
“Not only does having a vehicle stolen negatively impact the owner, the majority of stolen vehicles are used to commit secondary property and/or violent crimes,” said Montague in an interview with carpages. “With regards to auto theft, obviously technology plays a role….If you want to protect yourself from having your car stolen…, we suggest using a steering wheel locking device or [the] installation of an immobilizer.”
While there are lots of things people can do to steer clear of car thieves, the statistics show that the crooks are experiencing quite a bit of success when it comes to separating people from their rides.
According to Insurance Bureau of Canada [IBC], for instance, a car is stolen, on average, every three and a half minutes in Canada, which adds up to about 420 per day. And auto theft from sea to sea is estimated to cost Canadians $600 million annually.
Although all vehicle owners need to be vigilant, IBC notes on its website that there are some vehicles that are more likely to be targeted by thieves than are others.
Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada
- 2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR
- 2006 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER SS 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2002 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD SUV
- 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV 4DR AWD SUV
- 2006 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D
- 2007 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
- 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2003 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D
More Tips on How to Prevent Car Theft
Steering wheel locks and immobilizers will help to make cars less attractive to would-be vehicle thieves. Fortunately, there other best practices that can tip the scale in the favour of car owners.
CAA South Central Ontario, for example, suggests the following seven tips to help prevent car theft:
- Lock doors and don’t leave key in the ignition.
- Don’t leave car running unattended.
- Keep valuables out of sight. Place shopping bags and laptops in trunk.
- Stow away electronics and accessories or carry them when leaving the car.
- Completely close windows and sunroofs.
- Get an alarm system. The noise alone may be enough to scare away a thief and prevent a break-in.
- Park in a busy, well-lit area or in a garage.
Combating the Problem
The sheer volume of car thefts in Canada might lead to the belief that the situation is out of control, but efforts to combat the rampant problem have, in at least some jurisdictions, led to improvements. Montague, a media relations officer with the VPD’s community and public affairs unit, explained that the VPD has implemented a number of measures designed to combat violent crime and property crime.
“Over the past five years, the property crime rate in Vancouver has been reduced by over 35%,” he said. “During the same period, the number of stolen vehicles has declined by over 51%.”