Rising auto theft crimes cause police to issue car theft prevention tips

WELLINGTON CTY. – Auto theft is a growing prob­lem, and police warn Cana­di­ans that com­pared to the global rate, Canadians rank among the highest thefts in the world.

According to Statistics Can­ada, a car is stolen nearly every three minutes, making the aver­age about 400 cars a day.

OPP Constable Mark Cloes reported that whether people drive an ex­pensive luxury car or an econo­my car, it can be a target. Ac­cording to the Insur­ance Bur­eau of Canada’s statis­tics for 2007, the top five most stolen cars in Canada were:

– Honda Civic;

– Subaru Impreza;

– Acura Integra;

– Dodge Grand Caravan; and

– Plymouth Voyager.

Statistics show that econo­my cars are predominantly among the highest stolen vehi­cles in Canada. How much does that cost?

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Cana­dians spend about $1.2-billion a year paying to cover those thefts. That figure includes health care expenses, cost of pol­icing, legal and out of pock­et costs such as deductibles. Financial losses to the insur­ance companies are made up through people’s premiums, costing each policyholder about $37 on their insurance premium.

Cloes said the county OPP continue to remind all vehicle owners to help fight that grow­ing crime by taking out the keys and locking the auto.  “Don’t help the thieves find easy targets at your home, with your car unlocked and keys in­side,” he said.

There are some things that people can do to try to prevent car theft:

– always roll up the windows all the way when leaving a vehicle, and lock it;

– take the key when locking the vehicle. Never leave keys in the vehicle or the ignition. It only takes a moment for some­one to jump in and drive away;

– keep the vehicle owner­ship and insurance in a wallet or purse at all times – never leave them in the glove box;

– do not leave valuable items in plain view. Secure them in the trunk or out of sight; and

– make sure to park in a well lit area. If parked in a private garage, make sure to lock the garage and your car.

Cloes concluded, “Don’t make it easy to steal your car. Take these precautions to help prevent car theft. Lock it or lose it.”