Car crime is an issue in every country that has cars, but citizens of some nations suffer more than others when it comes to the frequency of car theft and vandalism incidents – especially countries like Canada, where 254 cars were stolen each day in 2010.
According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), some of the most popular stolen car models were the Toyota Venza, Honda Civic, Ford F350, Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Trailblazer, demonstrating that no one should feel safe when leaving their cars vulnerable to opportunist thieves.
The cities with the highest number of reported car crimes were Regina, Abbotsford-Mission, Winnipeg, Kelowna and Brantford, with major cities like Vancouver and Montreal also placing in the top ten.
Car theft alone has been calculated to cost Canadians more than $1 billion each year, when factoring in repair and replacement costs as well as police, healthcare and legal fees. One area in which this is felt most directly is insurance premiums, which are significantly higher for motorists in some parts of Canada than others, due to the higher perception of risk.
If you live in a city with above average car crime, it’s especially important to learn how to secure your car and minimise the risk of it being stolen or broken into. Even people living in less risky cities and neighbourhoods can’t afford to be complacent, and you should ensure your car is never parked in a remote area where there is unlikely to be witnesses in the event of crimes taking place.
Making sure all entry points to your vehicle are fully closed is essential for lowering the risk of theft, as many car thieves will act on even the slightest opportunity. This includes arranging auto glass repair as soon as you spot damage to your glass that can make your windows more vulnerable to impacts. Windows should also be fully rolled up and sunroofs closed every time you leave the vehicle, even if you’re just paying for fuel.
You can also lower the risk of falling victim to theft when you avoid leaving high value items on display inside the vehicle, such as laptops or sport equipment, as making a quick getaway with these items may be more attractive to some criminals than the car itself. Having your car parts marked with your vehicle’s registration details could also make them less appealing to thieves, who may face problems selling these on.
Written by: Fiona Roy