VEHICLE THEFTS ON THE RISE
Toyota SUVs top targets for thieves
Vehicle thefts in Essex County jumped 14 per cent between 2015 and 2016 according to information released Thursday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Using data from Statistics Canada, the IBC report said Guelph experienced the highest spike in auto thefts during that time period at 49 per cent. They listed Windsor as up 14 per cent but Windsor Police spokesman Steve Betteridge points out that percentage is for the census metropolitan area used by Stats Canada which takes in all of Essex County.
“We looked at the five-year trend for Windsor and we’re not seeing any huge jump,” Betteridge said, noting there were 598 auto theft investigations in 2016 and 525 in 2015.
He said WPS prefers studying five-year trends because “statistics can go up or down quickly” over a shorter period of time.
According to the IBC report, St. Catharines saw the third-highest increase provincially at five per cent while London saw a nine-percent decrease.
Overall, Ontario saw a one-percent increase in auto thefts.
The IBC report also released its top 10 list for most frequently stolen vehicles.
The 2016 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV topped a list heavy with high-end SUVs. The 2015 Toyota 4Runner 4-door 4WD SUV was second followed by both the 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD and GMC Yukon 4WD SUVs.
The report noted cars are stolen for a number of reasons including for shipment overseas, where they are either sold to consumers who are unaware they are buying a stolen car; chopped for parts; or used to commit another crime.
The report offered a number of anti-theft tips that include:
Never leave your vehicle running when unattended. Park in well-lit areas. When parking your car, always close the windows and lock the doors. Put valuables and packages in the trunk, where they are out of sight. Keep your car in the garage at night. Don’t leave personal information in the glove box. Take your insurance and ownership documents with you when you park your vehicle.
The Chevrolet Tahoe was near the top of the list of stolen vehicles reported in 2015-16, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada.