The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) recently released its annual list of the most frequently stolen vehicles, as follows:
1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
3. 2002 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD
4. 2004 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD
5. 2005 Acura RSX Type S 2-door
6. 1997 Acura Integra 2-door
7. 2000 Audi S4 Quattro 4-door AWD
8. 2003 Hummer H2 4-door AWD
9. 2006 Acura RSX Type S 2-door
10. 2004 Hummer H2 4-door AWD
The IBC noted that “the appearance of high-value, all-wheel/four-wheel drive models on the list demonstrates that sophisticated, organized crime rings are involved. These types of vehicles are frequently targeted by criminal organizations that strip them for parts, re-sell them to unsuspecting consumers or export them to countries where there is a high demand for upscale vehicles that can handle rugged terrain.”
As a result the federal government “passed Bill S-9, Tackling Auto Theft and Property Obtained by Crime Act, which gives Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) the authority to seize stolen vehicles intended for export,” the IBC said.
Rick Dubin, the IBC’s Vice-President, Investigative Services, stated: “IBC congratulates the federal government for cracking down on organized crime and auto theft for export, and for making the safety and security of Canadians a priority. “IBC will continue to work vigorously with law enforcement and government agencies across Canada to fight auto theft and recover stolen vehicles before they leave the country.”
The IBC described Bill S-9 as introducing “changes to the Criminal Code, including: making a separate offence for motor vehicle theft supported by tough sentences, creating the offence of altering, destroying or removing a vehicle identification number (VIN), and creating the offenses of trafficking property obtained by crime and possession of property obtained by crime for the purpose of trafficking.
IBC in partnership with CBSA and local law enforcement agencies located at the ports of Montreal and Halifax have seized 600 stolen vehicles worth $18 million this year to date. Including vehicles that were repatriated from overseas and those recovered using license-plate reader technology, the value of stolen vehicles recovered by IBC in 2010 jumps to $30.7 million. IBC will be arguing for the expansion of the ports program to the port of Vancouver for 2011.
It also published the following statistics concerning auto theft:
— According to Statistics Canada, 108,172 vehicles were stolen in Canada in 2009, a drop of 15 percent from 2008.
— In 2009, auto theft cost Canadian insurers $419 million; when one adds emergency response, court, policing, legal and out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, the total cost of auto theft each year in Canada approaches $1 billion.
“In addition to sophisticated crime rings that operate as businesses, transportation theft (or so-called ‘joy riding’) still exists,” added Dubin. “This type of theft is committed by someone just looking for a car that’s easy to steal, which can be used for transportation or to commit other crimes. The difference is that cars stolen for these purposes are often abandoned and found. Cars stolen by organized crime rings disappear.”
The IBC also pointed out that a “professional thief can steal a car in about 30 seconds, even without a key. Eight out of ten of the vehicles on Canada’s most frequently stolen list do not have an approved electronic immobilizer, which prevents thieves from starting a vehicle without the key. Some things drivers can do to help protect their vehicle include:
— Roll up car windows, lock the doors and pocket the key.
— Keep the vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance in a purse or wallet at all times – not in the glove box.
— Never leave valuable objects or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk.
— Never leave a vehicle running unattended when getting a coffee or when the vehicle is warming up on the driveway. Approximately 20 percent of stolen cars have keys in them.
— Always park in a well-lit and busy area.
— At home, park in a garage if available and lock both the garage and car doors.
Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada
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