The 2018 Honda CR-V SUV and trucks with remote starters top the list of the most often stolen vehicles in Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry remotes, the group that represents Canadian private insurance companies said in a press release on Wednesday.
Bryan Gast, national director of investigative services at IBC, said in an interview with CBC News that the biggest trend he’s seeing this year is what’s known as a “relay attack.”
“That means they’re acquiring your signal from your key fob, cloning your key fob and [then] have the ability to start your vehicle without ever having the original key fob,” Gast told CBC News.
“It’s as simple as walking to your front door, seeing if they’re able to capture a signal of a key fob that might be inside. They don’t go anywhere in your house. They’re capturing it from the outside. And they have the ability to technologically clone the device and have the ability to start your car and drive off.”
Many high-end SUVs are stolen by organized crime groups for export, to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada or to be stripped down for parts that are then sold, the IBC added.
Tips to prevent auto theft
The IBC suggests a number of tips for Canadians to help protect themselves from becoming a victim of auto theft.
- Don’t leave a keyless entry remote in a vehicle or unprotected at the front entrance of your home. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal, giving them access to the vehicle. Consider storing fobs in a protective box or bag in your home that blocks the radio frequency identification (RFID) signal.
- Install an immobilizing device that prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This can include devices that require wireless ignition authentication or starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers.
- Install a tracking device that emits a signal to police or a monitoring station if a vehicle is stolen.
- Don’t make your vehicle an easy target:
- Never leave a vehicle running when unattended.
- Lock the doors and close all windows when the vehicle is parked.
- Make sure to park in well-lit areas or in the garage.
- Use a visible or audible device that shows thieves a vehicle is protected.
- Consider using a deterrent like a steering-wheel or brake-pedal lock.
- Don’t leave personal information, like insurance and ownership documents, in the glove box of your vehicle when parked.
With files from CBC News