For the second year in a row, the 2000 Honda Civic SiR two-door has topped Canada’s “most stolen vehicle” list.
It leads the Insurance Board of Canada’s top 10 hot car list because it’s the most popular source of hot parts for SiR owners around the globe.
“Thieves consistently target the Honda Civic to chop for parts,” said Rick Dubin, IBC’s vice-president of investigative services. “Those parts are easy to resell because there are so many Civics on the road.”
Cut-up cars and trucks, usually expensive models, are also easier to ship than complete autos and it’s become a popular tactic for thieves trying to outsmart the law.
And while the coveted 2000 SiR leads the hot-car pack, luxury SUVs and Ford pickups have pulled into the other nine spots on the top ten list.
In 2013, Canada Border Services Agency and IBC investigators recovered $8 million worth of stolen vehicles at the ports of Montreal and Halifax.
“Organized criminals are now dismantling higher-end vehicles and exporting them in pieces instead of as whole vehicles because they are less likely to be detected,” said Dubin.
He said the pieces are reassembled in places like West Africa before being resold.
However, Dubin noted that stolen vehicles such as Cadillac Escalades and Ford F-series trucks are not showing up as often at Canadian shipping ports and are instead being “re-identified” (having their vehicle identification number altered) and resold within Canada to unsuspecting customers.
“Many of these higher-end vehicles are stolen in Atlantic Canada and Quebec and end up being reVINed and sold in other parts of the country,” Dubin said. “It’s a lucrative market for big rugged vehicles.”
Auto thefts have been declining in recent years with a 57 per cent drop over the last decade, but as Dubin points out “it’s a lucrative market for big rugged vehicles.”
There were 78,000 vehicle thefts in Canada this year, 4,500 less that in 2012.
And while there may be an annual decrease in vehicle thefts due to enforcement and advances in vehicle anti-theft security systems, there has been a significant rise in identity theft.
In 2012 there were 12,739 cases of identity theft and fraud reported to police nationally, which was a 5 per cent increase from the previous year and this sector of crime is expected to show an increase for 2013 when all the figures are in.
“Fewer motor vehicle thefts mean criminals look for new ways to commit crimes,” Dubin said. “We all need to be more vigilant and not make it easy for thieves.”
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
The best way to protect yourself is to not keep ownership certificates, insurance slips, credit card invoices and other personal documents in the car to prevent thieves from assuming your identity and thereby accessing accounts, making purchases, leasing vehicles and even taking out a mortgage against your property long before you realize it.
To avoid being tricked into buying a stolen vehicle, consumers should consider making their purchase through a reputable dealer, run a vehicle history and have a trusted mechanic inspect a used car before you buy it.
And to prevent having stolen parts installed in your vehicle it’s also wise to seek out a reputable repair shop, which your insurance company can recommend.
The best way to protect yourself from most car thefts is to never leave a vehicle running unattended, park in well lit areas, always roll up your windows, lock the doors and pocket your keys. Never leave valuables or packages in plain sight, but locked in the trunk.
Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada for 2013
1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2DR
2. 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer SS 4DR 4WD SUV
3. 2002 Cadillac Escalade 4DR 4WD SUV
4. 2005 Cadillac Escalade 4DR 4WD SUV
5. 2006 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
6. 2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV 4DR AWD SUV
7. 2006 Acura RSX Type S 2DR 2D
8. 2007 Ford F250 SD 4WD PU
9. 2007 Ford F350 SD 4WD PU
10. 2003 Acura RSX Type S 2DR 2D
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