||Crime prevention and community safety > Auto theft
Why vehicles are stolen:
How to reduce the risk of vehicle theft:
- To sell the vehicle or parts - Often thieves will take your car out of the Province or Country. Identification numbers may be altered or removed, ownership certificates forged, parts sold or the vehicle repainted.
- For transportation - Thieves will use your vehicle to get where they want to go and later abandon the vehicle. They may just drive it around to gain 'status' with their friends.
- To commit other crimes - Vehicles are stolen and used in other crimes such as robberies, break and enters, drug dealing or drive-by shootings.
- For vehicle cloning - Vehicles are stolen, given a fraudulent identification number and then sold to unsuspecting persons who are defrauded of their money. Fraudulent vehicles will be located and seized by the Police.
- When parking your vehicle:
- Turn ignition off and TAKE the keys with you
- Park in a well-lighted, attended area if possible
- Lock all valuables in your trunk
- Completely close and lock doors and windows
- Turn your wheels to the side to make it harder to tow
- When at home:
- If you have a garage, use it and lock it
- If you have a rear-wheel drive car, back into driveway
- If you have a front-wheel drive car, park front end first
- Always set the emergency brake
- Don't leave the ownership or insurance cards in the vehicle when unattended
- Drop business cards or address labels inside doors to assist with vehicle identification
Other important tips
- Never hide a spare key in the vehicle, thieves know where to find it
- Be aware of your surroundings while driving and drive with your doors locked
- Be aware when purchasing a vehicle. If the deal sounds too good to be true…It probably is!
If your vehicle is stolen...
- Report the theft to the police immediately
- If your car or accessories are stolen, the police will need specific information to identify the car, parts and accessories.
You should record the following:
- Year and Make, Model, Colour(s)
- Licence Number
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Serial numbers of all special equipment
- Special markings - dents, scratches, other damage etc.
Invest in vehicle protection whenever possible
Ignition Kill Switch - Toggle switch spliced into ignition that disables your vehicle.
For more information regarding Auto Theft - please contact the Crime Prevention Officer at your local Police Division or the Toronto Police Auto Squad.
Fuel Kill Switch - Switch spliced into fuel system wiring that halts fuel supply to your vehicle.
Steering Wheel Lock - Prevents steering wheel from turning.
Gearshift Lock - Locks gearshift in place, disables shifting transmission.
Tire/Wheel Locks - Tool wraps around tire/wheel to immobilize vehicle.
Hood Locks - Prevents access to vehicle engine parts.
Steering Column Collar - Protects steering column from ignition entry.
Electronic Alarms - Alarms with kill switches are the most effective.
Vehicle Tracking Systems - A transmitter in your vehicle enables your vehicle to be tracked electronically.