Auto theft and the violent crime associated with it is a growing problem across Ontario. The number of incidents of auto theft across Ontario have risen around 90% between 2018 and 2022.

Please see below for information on how to help protect your vehicle and keep your belongings safe. 


Before You Go:

  • Use Anti-Theft Devices: Invest in anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, car alarms, and immobilizers. These can deter thieves and make it more difficult for them to steal your vehicle.
  • Be Cautious with Remote Starters: If your vehicle has a remote starter feature, be cautious about leaving the engine running unattended. Thieves can easily steal cars left idling, especially in cold weather.
  • Install Tracking Devices: Consider installing a GPS tracking device in your vehicle. This can help locate your car if it's stolen and aid law enforcement in recovering it.
  • Be Mindful of Key Security: Keep your car keys secure and never leave them unattended or in plain sight. Thieves can use key cloning or signal amplification to steal vehicles with keyless entry systems. Utilizing faraday bags or boxes can help combat this.
  • Hide Spare Keys Securely: Avoid leaving spare keys inside or near your vehicle. Thieves know common hiding spots and can easily access your car if they find them.
  • Install Locking Wheel Nuts: Locking wheel nuts can deter thieves from attempting to steal the wheels on your vehicle. This is especially true if you have aftermarket rims that are enticing to thieves.
  • Invest in a Steering Wheel Lock: A steering wheel lock, or "club", that is used when your car is unattended can deter criminals from attempting to steal your vehicle.


Lock It or Lose it:

It takes a professional thief less than 30 seconds to steal a vehicle.  Keep this advice in mind when parking, or leaving your car unattended. 

  • Lock Your Vehicle: Always lock your car, even if you're only stepping away for a short time. 
  • Always Close Your Windows: When away from a vehicle, ensure all windows and sunroofs are closed
  • Don't Leave Valuables Visible: Keep valuables out of sight or, better yet, take them with you. Leaving items like electronics, bags, or wallets visible can attract thieves.
  • Park in Well-Lit Areas: When parking, choose well-lit and populated areas. Avoid leaving your vehicle in isolated or poorly lit locations, as these can provide cover for thieves.
  • Secure Your Garage: If you have a garage, use it to park your vehicle. Keep the garage door closed and locked and consider installing additional security measures such as motion-sensing lights or a security camera.
    • What if I don't have a garage? 
      Many people don't have access to a garage and must park in driveways, parking lots, or on the road. If this is true for you, try to park older vehicles behind newer ones, park in well lit and high traffic areas, and if possible have a CCTV camera directed towards your vehicle.

For more information on Lock It or Lose It, please click here. 


When Out and About:

  • Be Aware of Scams: Be wary of scams, such as individuals posing as parking attendants or offering to perform maintenance on your vehicle. Always verify the legitimacy of service providers before entrusting them with your car.
  • Don't Leave Your Car Running and Unattended: Thieves thrive on crimes of opportunity. If you have to step away from your car (For example, to pay for gas), do not leave the keys in the car or your car running. This is also true for warming your vehicle up in the winter. 


What to do if your vehicle is stolen?

If your vehicle is stolen, as soon as possible contact the police and report it. Consider what if any valuables were in it. If evidence is available to support the investigation, report it (e.g., items left behind by the thief or video evidence). If you have a tracking device report that to police as well.

Members of the public are discouraged from going out and following or attempting to recover their own vehicle without police involvement. If a member of the public finds their vehicle, they should immediately report it to the police. They should not get in and drive as it may result in the loss of evidence and they would be driving a vehicle that is listed as stolen across Canada.