Auto thefts have increased in Toronto by 58 percent between 2017 and 2020, and up by another 8% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a Toronto Police Service board meeting earlier this year.
According to the Equity Association, a group founded by the investigative division of the Insurance Bureau of Canada and CANATICS, which studies auto thefts across the country, over 80,000 automobiles were stolen across Canada in 2021, up 1% from the previous year. Officials have now indicated that cars with push-button ignition systems, which have accounted for a great majority of the vehicles on the road, were the main targets. High-end vehicles were targeted, but so were reliable, plentiful vehicles such as Honda CR-Vs and Civics.
In Toronto, the Honda CR-V was the top car stolen last year, with 654 nabbed, followed by the Lexus RX350, with 418 stolen. These car thieves have been replacing the vehicle identification number (VIN) with a new fake VIN and selling the stolen cars to unsuspecting customers. These car thefts have also been identified to have been exported to make international sales.
“With supply-chain issues, this is something that’s been on the rise and trending upwards,” says Gast.
In the first two months of 2022 alone, more vehicles were stolen in Toronto than at the same time last year. And not just slightly more, but 53.1 percent more, with 1,240 car thefts reported, according to Toronto Police Service data. It is suggested to keep an eye on your car as well as watch where you park if you’re in the Toronto area.