car thefts canada toronto

A vehicle is stolen every six minutes in Canada according to report

Every six minutes a car is stolen in Canada.

That's what the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association (CFLA) revealed in a new report exploring the vehicle theft crisis in Canada.

According to the CFLA, car theft has reached a critical point, costing the country a whopping $1 billion annually.

The report found a 300 per cent surge in vehicle theft since 2015 in Toronto alone and last year marked the "most notorious" year for it. The CFLA says this is not unique to the east coast city.

"It's become common, and we had to develop recommendations to address it," said Michael Rothe, president and CEO of the CFLA, in a statement. "Almost everyone I speak to has a story about vehicle theft and our latest report proves it."
car theft toronto

Credit: CFLA

In 2019, 17 other cities reported higher per capita car theft rates than Toronto, reported the CFLA.

It says organized crime is at the centre of the crisis in Canada.

"Vehicle theft in Canada is rising exponentially, with organized crime becoming more adept at maintaining their revenue flow from stolen vehicles," stated Rothe.

According to the report, unrecovered vehicles don't simply disappear into thin air. They can be given a fake vehicle identification number and resold to unsuspecting people domestically or overseas.

"By shipping stolen vehicles to overseas markets, organized crime groups sell vehicles at lucrative prices and benefit from complications when Canadian police investigations become dependent on the resolve and cooperation of foreign authorities," wrote the CFLA.

Ways to prevent car theft

The report also recommends strategies to address the pervasive issue.

It says the first step is to educate the public to prevent car theft from happening in the first place.

The report then suggests owners store their car keys and fobs in signal-blocking containers.

"Signals from key fobs that are stored in homes close to windows and doors are at risk of being copied by criminals to steal vehicles off driveways," explained the CFLA.

Locking systems for onboard diagnostic ports and steering wheels can also help.

The report advises that people who put a tracking device on their vehicle should not try and recover a stolen car themselves, but instead report it to the police.

"We urgently need public education programs on theft prevention, the re-establishment of provincial auto theft teams, and protocols for reporting financed vehicles exported through identity theft," said Rothe.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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