Three luxury cars stolen from same area
Electronic tools making it easy for criminals to target high-end autos
According to the Leaside Community Facebook page, on the morning of Nov. 22, a resident witnessed three Lexus vehicles being stolen. This has become an all-too familiar scene in Toronto neighbourhoods.
Reported auto thefts by Toronto Police 53 Division, which includes Leaside, more than doubled in 2018. On Dec. 13, Toronto Police Service (TPS) held a news conference to discuss and explain this rise in auto thefts.
“It's becoming a pandemic in our city,” said Det. Sgt. Daniel Sabadics of 53 Division. “Toronto is experiencing a 29 per cent increase in the theft of autos. What that boils down to is about 1,000 more stolen autos this year than last year.”
Investigators who have worked these cases believe that the rise in thefts can be attributed to the use of electronic tools. Police say that there was a threefold increase in these types of thefts from last year, in Divisions 53 and 13.
“We had investigations indicating that they were electronic overwrite thefts,” said Sabadics. “There are two types. One is relay thefts, which is where the fob or the key itself is cloned. There is also an override electronic method being used.”
Investigators believe that the tools and software required for these kinds of crimes can be found online and are meant for high-end vehicles.
Police recommend using a steering wheel club, a wheel boot, installing an ignition kill switch or an aftermarket alarm system and keeping any electornic key itself in a metal container or bag, as far away from the front door as possible.