Automobile theft is a pervasive issue that affects car owners across the globe, and Ontario is no exception. As technology advances, so do the methods employed by thieves to steal vehicles. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the current landscape of auto theft in Ontario and explore effective strategies to protect your vehicle from falling victim to this prevalent crime.

The State of Auto Theft in Ontario

Ontario, like many other regions, has seen its share of auto theft incidents. According to recent statistics, Ontario and Quebec have had the highest percent of auto thefts year over year (YoY): with Ontario up by 48% YoY and Quebec up by 50% YoY. Additionally, these stats are coupled with the lowest recovery rates for 2022, with Quebec at 34% and at Ontario 45%.  

Ending auto theft requires a whole-of-society effort. The following steps to creating a multi-layered approach are recommended below:

Protecting Your Vehicle

Layer 1: Keep Your Doors Locked, Park in a Well-Lit Area, Never Leave Your Keys in the Ignition or Remote Start Your Vehicle
These tips might seem like common sense, but they’re a strong start to limiting your chances of being a victim to auto theft. Keeping your car secure via doors and windows, parking in secure parking garages or in well-lit areas, and limiting remote start can help to keep your vehicle safe.

Layer 2: Visible and Audible Anti-Theft Devices
Having visible and audible anti-theft devices on your vehicle not only dissuades thieves, but assists in alerting you. Consider adding or enabling these devices to secure your vehicle and deter thieves

A. Steering Wheel Lock:
Steering wheel locks act as a visible deterrent making it difficult for thieves to drive away with your vehicle.

B. Vehicle Alarm System:
A loud, attention-grabbing alarm system can discourage thieves and alert those nearby of a potential theft in progress.

C. RFID-Blocking Pouch:
If possible, turn off key FOB or place it inside an RFID-blocking pouch (e.g. Faraday bag) or a metal container to block signals and prevent relay attacks when not in use, even at home.

Don’t know what a relay attack is? A relay attack usually involves two people working together. One stands by the targeted vehicle, while the other stands near the house with a device that can pick up a signal from the key fob. What’s more, some devices can pick up a signal from over 100 metres away.

Layer 3: Install a Vehicle Immobilizer
Install a quality aftermarket immobilizer device with an ignition disabler that can protect against relay attacks, reprogramming attacks and CAN bus attacks.

Layer 4: Install an After Market Tracking System
In the unfortunate event that your vehicle is stolen; a GPS tracking system can aid law enforcement in recovering it quickly. Tracking services, such as TAG, install multiple, difficult to locate tracking devices throughout a vehicle. If a theft does occur these devices can help track a vehicle. Before you install, check with your insurance broker as you may qualify for a discount on your insurance premium.

Auto theft in Ontario is a persistent challenge, but with proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to this crime. By investing in visible deterrents, employing modern security technology, and staying vigilant, you can protect your vehicle and contribute to making Ontario’s roads safer for everyone. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to auto theft.

Contact us to get your insurance started today or call for advice.

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