December 3, 2019 (TORONTO) – While the technology in our vehicles continues to evolve, so do sophisticated auto thieves who are using technology to bypass security systems and electronically gain access to Canadians' vehicles. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is finding that technology is having a major impact on vehicle thefts, evident in its annual list, released today, of Canada's most frequently stolen vehicles.
"Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs," said Bryan Gast, National Director of Investigative Services, IBC. "Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to Public Safety and continues to cost all Canadians."
Auto theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion every year. This includes $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, health care and court system costs and millions more for correctional services.
While some vehicles are stolen to commit another crime or to be used to go for a "joyride", many others are stolen by organized crime groups to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada, shipped abroad or stripped down for parts.
IBC's Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list is compiled using data from IBC's member companies across the country. This year's list includes nine vehicles that don't have ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring a vehicle. The lack of an ignition immobilizer is the number one reason this series of Ford trucks continues to take up the majority of spots on the list.
Even with today's tech-savvy thieves, there are a number of steps Canadians can take to help protect themselves from becoming a victim of auto theft.