Car theft is a growing problem in Canada, thankfully in Winnipeg, we have the Air1 helicopter that helps police to track down and find the stolen vehicle fast! A new report from the Canadian Insurance Bureau says that picky car thieves are increasingly targeting Ford trucks and high-end SUVs. At the same time, the total number of car thefts continues to grow throughout the country.
Winnipeg Police continue to receive reports of hijackings of cars that were abandoned or with the keys in the ignition. In mid-December, Manitoba Public Insurance issued a press release stating that of the 3,100 hijackings last year, 90% of the hijackers used the original keys. In about 50% of the cases, the keys were in the ignition or in the glove compartment. In other cases, the keys were stolen from the house or from the pockets of owner`s jackets.
A few recommendations from Manitoba Public Insurance:
- Never leave your car with the keys in the ignition unattended, even for a moment.
- Do not leave a spare set of keys in the car.
- Use the “blocker” on the steering wheel.
- Set the alarm “ON”.
- Never leave children in the car, especially when working.
- Do not leave valuables in the car, especially in sight.
And some tips from car owners:
- If you found money under the wiper, do not stop to pick it up.
- When getting out of the car, always pull the keys out of the ignition.
- If you see something unusual, something feels wrong - just leave.
- Try not to refuel at night at remote gas stations.
- Install the DVR in the car.
- Park in well-lit areas.
The Canadian insurance bureau reports in its annual list of the most frequently stolen cars that the Ford F-Series trucks again ranked first. Henry Tso, vice president of the board of inquiry, says thieves in Ontario and Alberta prefer trucks, and in Atlantic Canada, Nissan Maxima, as well as Chevy Silverado and Jeep Liberty are most often stolen.
Insurers say that Christmas time is the most popular time to hijack vehicles, as they often turn out to be loaded with gifts. The report states that cars are often smuggled out of the country, sold to unsuspecting consumers, scrapped for dismantling, or used to commit another crime involving organized criminal groups. The Canadian Criminal Intelligence Service reports that criminal car theft groups are based mainly in Montreal and Toronto.
Fellow Winnipeggers, please be careful where you leave your vehicle, as the report shows almost no car theft occurred at Parkades and underground garages, as they are equipped with multiple security cameras and have gates, where you have to stop and pay to get out, also security guards at the premises discourage car thieves. So think twice before leaving your vehicle just on the street, try to avoid bad neighborhoods and keep an eye on your car keys.