Top Five lists
By Jess Davidson, Special to Wheels.ca
More than 80,000 cars are stolen across Canada each year, the majority of which will never be recovered. For victims of vehicle theft, the aftermath is an expensive, paperwork-heavy nightmare, and there are few things more violating than having your beloved car ride off into the sunset with someone else (or worse, taken apart piece by piece and sold for parts).
To help you avoid falling victim, we’ve compiled a list of five things car thieves would prefer you didn’t know:
1: Your model matters
Certain cars are particularly appealing to thieves. Specific brands, such as Toyota, are popular in overseas markets where stolen cars are often exported, according to Michael Lendick, national security director and law enforcement liaison, LoJack Canada. Other popular brands, such as Honda, tend to be targeted because their parts can be sold locally and quickly. Each year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada releases a list of the top 10 stolen cars , which can be viewed by clicking here.
2: Vehicle etching isn’t a deterrent
Vehicle etching (also known as VIN etching) is marketed as a countermeasure to vehicle theft. It is a technique that involves etching a vehicle’s VIN onto its windows and is meant to reduce the value of a stolen vehicle to thieves.
“In reality, all that window etching amounts to is some almost invisible scratches on your window that you get charged hundreds of dollars for,” Lendick explains. “It all boils down to lots of money spent to have the etching done, but no real value to the consumer at all.”
According to Lendick, if your vehicle has been stolen, odds are it’s already inside a container and on its way for export, so markings of this kind do very little good.
3: Keys in the ignition? You’re too kind
This seems like an obvious tip, but up to 20 per cent of victims of car theft left the keys in the ignition while in a coffee shop or at an ATM, Lendick says. Even if you’ll just be away from the car for a few minutes, take your keys with you.
4: Practice preventive parking
In order to prevent thieves from towing your car, park with your wheels turned sharply and apply the emergency brake. If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway, and if you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first, Toronto Police advise. (IBC, Toronto Police)
5: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is
Car owners are not the only potential victims of theft; thieves prey on purchasers, too. For example, stolen cars may be given a fraudulent identification number and then sold to unsuspecting buyers who are defrauded of their money, according to the Toronto Police’s website. Beware of sellers trying to unload quickly.
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
- You can unsubscribe at any time. Please Contact Us for details.
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STAR'S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X