Numbers show new trends, creative tricks by thieves
TORONTO, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Today Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
released its annual list of the top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles
in Canada and reported on new trends in organized auto theft.
According to Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services,
"Organized criminals are now dismantling higher-end vehicles and
exporting them in pieces instead of as whole vehicles because they are
less likely to be detected." These vehicles get reassembled as far away
as West Africa and then resold, he says.
Dubin believes this new creative approach is a reaction to detecting and
seizing $8 million worth of stolen vehicles in 2013 by Canada Border
Services Agency working in partnership with IBC investigators at the
Ports of Montreal and Halifax. "It's a trend we will continue to
On IBC's top 10 list, the 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2DR sits at the top for
the second year in a row and high-end SUVs and Ford trucks hold most
"Thieves consistently target the Honda Civic to chop for parts. Those
parts are easy to resell because there are so many Civics on the road,"
The stolen Escalades and Ford series trucks on the list are now showing
up less frequently at the ports for export, says Dubin. They are being
re-identified (reVINed) and sold throughout Canada to unsuspecting
"Auto theft remains a big business for organized crime in Canada," Dubin
The top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles across Canada are:
2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR
2006 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER SS 4DR 4WD SUV
2002 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD SUV
2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD SUV
2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE ESV 4DR AWD SUV
2006 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D
2007 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
2003 ACURA RSX TYPE S 2DR 2D
Trucks Remain a Hot Target
IBC research shows that four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles,
including Ford F350 and 250 series trucks along with Cadillac
Escalades, remain a target for thieves. "This should come as no
surprise," says Dubin. "Many of these higher-end vehicles are stolen in
Atlantic Canada and Quebec and they end up being reVINed and sold in
other parts of the country. It's a lucrative market for big, rugged
Despite declines in recent years, auto theft is still big business in
Canada. The number of vehicles stolen annually has dropped dramatically
recently to 78,000, which amounts to 4,500 fewer motor vehicle thefts
in 2012 than in 2011, and a 57% drop from a decade ago.
A New Threat
Despite this trend toward fewer vehicle thefts, Dubin is concerned that
in 2012, there were nationally 12,739 incidents of identity theft and
identity fraud reported to police, which is a 5% increase from 2011.
"Motorists should remain vigilant. Fewer motor vehicle thefts mean
criminals look for new ways to commit crimes." Dubin urged motorists
not to keep vehicle ownerships, liability pink slips, credit card
invoices and other documents containing personal information in
vehicles. Identity thieves are looking for such documents so they can
assume identities, secure credit card accounts, lease vehicles for
export and even take out a mortgage against victims' properties without
their knowledge. Victims may not realize they have been victimized
until it is too late, costing them time and money to rectify the
"We need to keep fighting crime on all fronts," says Dubin. "IBC works
with police, insurers and government agencies like Canada Border
Services Agency to prevent and detect vehicle theft but we all need to
be more vigilant and not make it easy for thieves."
Tips for Consumers
Don't be tricked into buying a stolen vehicle. IBC recommends that
consumers considering buying a used car should purchase from a
reputable dealer. Always run a vehicle history and if buying a used car
privately, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic. Also, to avoid having stolen parts put onto your vehicle during repairs, only
deal with reputable repair shops. Your insurance company can recommend
It's important to remember that a professional thief can steal your car
in about 30 seconds. But there are a few simple precautions that you
can take to foil a criminal:
Never leave your vehicle running unattended.
Park in well-lit areas.
Always roll up your car windows, lock the doors and pocket and protect
Never leave valuables or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk.
Park your car in the garage at night.
Dubin says: "Finally, this one drives me crazy and I still see it all
the time, people just leave their keys in the ignition, while going in
for a coffee and doughnut or warming up their car unattended in the
morning. Approximately 20% of all stolen cars have keys in them."
If you want to report an insurance crime, call IBC's 1-877-IBC-TIPS or
Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
For more information about auto theft, visit our website at www.ibc.ca or click below.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its
member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C)
insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over
118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal,
provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of
To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's
website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.
SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada
For further information:
or to schedule an interview, contact:
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312