Increase in stolen vehicles across east region

A professional can steal your vehicle in just 30 seconds—without the key. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region is investigating several thefts of high-end and newer motor vehicles from all over Eastern Ontario.

The number of incidents is increasing – including vehicles which are equipped with keyless fob systems. The thieves will use electronic devices to enter the vehicle, start the engine and leave with it; within minutes. Push-start/keyless vehicles are more frequently targeted, as thieves can override electronic ignition systems with hand-held devices.

The OPP recommends installing a steering wheel lock bar to deter thieves from stealing vehicles, even if they are able to start the engine.

To prevent you from becoming a target, park vehicles in your garage when able, install outdoor camera systems and motion lighting, and watch out for suspicious people and vehicles in your neighbourhood.

The OPP also reminds citizens that an unlocked car door or an open window is an invitation to thieves. The ‘Lock It or Lose It’ program reminds drivers to always:

  • roll up their vehicles’ windows
  • keep valuables out of sight
  • lock their doors, and
  • pocket their keys.

Auto theft costs Canadians more than $1.2 billion every year. About half of all stolen vehicles are used to commit another crime or are driven—often recklessly—for the simple purpose of transportation (this is called ‘destination theft’). In these cases, thieves take advantage of owner negligence by grabbing the first vehicle they can find that’s been left unsecured.

In the other half of cases, vehicles are stolen by thieves involved in organized crime rings.

“The OPP is committed the finding those responsible for ongoing vehicle thefts across eastern Ontario,” said Detective Staff Sergeant Chad Culbert of the Community Street Crime Unit.

Anyone having information on the above incidents, or any other crime, is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), or you can submit a TIP online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca.