Organized criminals find local market for popular pickup truck
TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released
today its annual list of the top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in
Canada. This year there is a new, but returning, hot target for thieves
- the 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2DR. In fact Civics take up the top two
places in this year's list. Civics have always been high on the list.
It's a popular vehicle for young people and many of them are stolen and
chopped for parts.
The Civic replaces the 2009 Toyota Venza 4-door, which was last year's
number one most frequently stolen vehicle nationally but is the second
most stolen vehicle in Quebec. But more than the change of the top
target, investigators are seeing new trends and have more warnings for
The top 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in Canada are:
2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR
1999 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR
2006 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER SS 4DR 4WD
2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR AWD
2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
2002 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD
2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
1999 ACURA INTEGRA 2DR
Auto Theft is Big Business
Seven of the top 10 are 4 wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicles,
including four Ford F350 trucks.
"We are never surprised to see a lot of all-terrain vehicles on the
list," says Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, IBC.
"Many of these higher-end vehicles are targeted by organized crime for
shipment overseas - to places like West Africa, the Middle East and
Eastern Europe, where there is a lucrative market for big, rugged
He adds: "A new trend this year, however, is that Alberta seems to be
emerging as a secondary market for these vehicles. IBC investigations
indicate that many of the Ford trucks are being re-VINed to be sold to
unsuspecting victims in Western Canada. Organized crime rings are
stealing the trucks in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, changing the vehicle
identification numbers (VIN), and selling them in Alberta, where there
is a high demand for them."
Auto theft is big business in Canada. The good news is that in 2011 the
number of stolen vehicles in the country was down 12%, to 82,411. The
bad news is that recovery rates for stolen vehicles have been low,
which indicates the involvement of organized criminals, who re-VIN cars
for re-sale, or chop them for parts. This is a "Buyer Beware" situation
where stolen vehicles and parts are sold over the Internet for prices
that seem to be too good to be true.
"We're fighting these sophisticated crime rings on several fronts," says
Dubin. "IBC works with Canada Border Services Agency to stop stolen
vehicles at the ports in Montreal and Halifax before they are
exported. Since 2009, over $44 million worth of stolen vehicles
intended for export have been seized as a result of this partnership."
IBC is also encouraged that lawmakers are taking the issue of auto theft
much more seriously. Case in point is the recent passage of the
Federal Safe Streets and Communities Act, which added auto theft as one
of the crimes for which house arrest would no longer be offered to
convicted auto thieves.
"When IBC supported Bill S-9 (Auto Theft and Trafficking in Property
Obtained by Crime Act), we stressed that auto theft should be
considered a serious and violent crime," says Dubin. "Stealing a car is
not the same as stealing a TV. Innocent Canadians and law enforcement
officers are killed or seriously injured each year as a result of auto
theft. Just last week a suspected auto theft resulted in the injury of
a pedestrian as well as a threat to the police officers in Toronto".
Tips for Consumers
Don't be tricked into buying a stolen vehicle. Consumers should buy used
cars from a reputable dealer and run a car history report before making
a deal. 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 help make the thief's target a little harder to reach:
Never leave your vehicle running unattended
Park in well-lit areas.
Always roll up your car windows, lock the doors, pocket and protect your
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 see it all the
time. People just leave their keys in the ignition, while going in
for a coffee and donut or warming up their car 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-IBCTIPS or
Crime Stoppers 1-800-222TIPS.
For more information on 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
114,000 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:
For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact:
Insurance Bureau of Canada
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312