Car thefts are up in Ontario. Are you protected?

Getting your car stolen is no laughing matter. Aside from the fear and emotions, the major inconvenience of not being able to get around can throw life into complete disarray. An unfortunate statistic reveals that of all provinces in Canada, Ontario suffered a 15% increase in car thefts in 2017. Of all cities, Toronto alone saw a 30% surge. Certain key practices will help you lower your chances of becoming a victim.

Don’t leave your vehicle unattended to warm up in winter

During the colder months it is very common for people to let their vehicle sit outside to heat up before their morning drive. Doing this is quite dangerous as vehicles sitting unattended become perfect targets for thieves and predators. Furthermore, experts say that modern cars do not require a warming period. They will get to the desired temperature shortly after being started. Furthermore, leaving a car idle for over thirty seconds can actually do physical damage to the vehicle. A minute or two of driving is the most effective way to heat up your car on those cold mornings.   

New technology means new ways to steal

Does your vehicle have wireless key entry? Regrettably, what has added convenience to your life has also made stealing your car more convenient for thieves. By standing close to your home, thieves can actually use a transmitter to pick up the signal from the key fob in your house. This allows them to easily unlock and operate your vehicle as long as there is gas in the tank.

Store your keys properly. Get a security pouch.

In order to prevent theft, it is a good idea to keep your keys on the second floor of your home. This way their signal is protected. You could even purchase a “faraday bag” which is an RF signal blocking pouch that prevents the signal from being picked up outside of your home. Any transmissions coming from your vehicle’s key fob will be effectively blocked.

Additional theft prevention tips:

o If you have a garage, use it. There is no better way to protect your car from would-be thieves.

o Keep a security camera on your premises. With smartphone apps they have never been easier or more efficient to operate.

o Start using OBD port locks. An OBD lock plug allows you to monitor your vehicle 24/7 with a smartphone app. You get notifications if the vehicle moves, if it is damaged, and for many other indicators of theft.

o Use a steering wheel lock. A low-tech solution that has withstood the test of time.