Motor vehicles are key components of our culture and lifestyle. As such, they are often the target of crime.
Why Vehicles Are Stolen:
- To sell them in their entirety or in parts. Note: Thieves may take stolen vehicles out of the province or even the country.
- For transportation before they are abandoned
- For use in other crimes such as robberies or break and enters
- For sale under a false identification number to unsuspecting persons
- As part of an insurance fraud. In these instances, the owners have the vehicle stolen and sold and take a portion of the sale money while filing a false claim with their insurance company
While there is no absolute guarantee against becoming a victim of vehicle theft, the Halton Regional Police Service offers the following series of precautions.
- Park in a well-lit and attended area, if possible, for your own safety as well as your car's
- Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running, even for a few seconds. Turn off the ignition and take the keys with you.
- Always lock all of your vehicle's doors and windows after entering and exiting it
- Never leave personal identification or valuables in your vehicle. Lock all valuables in the trunk. Don't tempt thieves by leaving packages, cameras, or purses in plain view or on the seat
- Remove GPS navigation and cell phone devices from view when not in your vehicle
- Mount CD and MP3 players inconspicuously
- Engrave removable accessories such as stereos for easy identification
- Turn the front wheels to one side to make it more difficult to tow
- If you have a garage, use it, and lock your car
- If you have a front-wheel drive model, park it front end first
- If you have a rear-wheel drive model, back it in
- Always set the emergency brake
- Never leave the original vehicle ownership or driver's licence documents in the car
- Drop a business card or address label down the panel doors to assist police with identifying the vehicle's registered owner
- Never hide a spare key in your car. Thieves know where to look.
- Never leave an identification tag or address label on your key ring. Thieves may use it to locate your home or car.
- Be aware of your surroundings while driving and keep all doors locked
- When buying a vehicle privately, ensure the seller has the "Used Vehicle Information Package"
Invest in Vehicle Protection:
As an added deterrent to would-be auto thieves, you may wish to consider purchasing an anti-theft device(s) such as:
Ignition Kill Switch: Toggle switch spliced into a vehicle's ignition that disables it. Only the key enables the vehicle to start.
Fuel Kill Switch: Switch spliced into a vehicle's fuel system wiring that stops fuel supply to the engine
Steering Wheel Lock: Prevents a steering wheel from turning
Gearshift Lock: Disables shifting transmission
Hood Lock: Stops anyone from opening a vehicle's hood
Steering Column Collar: Protects a vehicle's steering column from ignition entry
Electronic Alarm: Those with "kill" switches are most effective
Vehicle Tracking System: Transmitter located in a vehicle that enables its location to be traced electronically
Record The Following In A Safe Place:
- Year, make, model and colour of your vehicle
- Licence and vehicle identification numbers
- Serial numbers of any special equipment
- Any dents or scratches that distinguish your vehicle from others
If Your Vehicle Is Stolen:
- Report it immediately to the police
- Provide police with identification or specific information about the vehicle and any valuables contained therein
Download a PDF version of the tips featured on this page.
In Canada, a car is stolen every eight minutes
Two-thirds of all thefts occur at night
Prime targets are late, sporty or high-powered models
60 per cent of stolen cars had the keys left in the ignition
90 per cent of all car thieves arrested are under the age of 25