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TheRockies.Life Staff

Is Your Car Still In The Driveway?

If you think your car is safe, you should think twice, especially if you own a newer car.

Car theft in Canada is nothing new, but did you know that it’s at a record high? 

Our country is widely known as a major source of vehicles for the international black market.

As the number of car thefts nationwide continues to grow, some cars are more in demand than others. 

Is yours at the top of that list?

The Most Stolen Cars in Canada 

In 2022, the Honda CR-V was the most stolen car in Canada, according to a report by the Équité Association, a not-for-profit organization focused on insurance crime investigation. 

And watch out, Albertans, newer Dodge RAM 1500, and Ford F150 trucks were the second and third most stolen vehicles last year.

Bryan Gast, Vice President of Investigative Services at the Équité Association, expressed the growing seriousness of this issue. 

“Organized crime continues to look to Canada as a source nation for stolen cars where the financial reward is high and the risk of prosecution is low,” commented Gast. 

Low risk paired with a big payout has made Canada the go-to target for crime networks involved in car theft. 

The report shows that nine of the top ten most stolen cars were recent models of 2019 or newer, including trucks and SUVs, which are in high demand overseas. 

Sid Kingma, Western Canada, Director of Investigative Services for Équité Association, thinks car thefts are driven by supply and demand.

“What it really speaks to is the purpose of those thefts; they’re being stolen because there is a demand in the market for them,” explained Kingma. 

Stolen cars are shipped overseas, given new identities, and often sold back into Canada. 

The closeness of Ontario and Quebec to shipping ports has caused these regions to see a major increase in car thefts.

One of the advanced methods used by car thieves | Toronto Police Service | Facebook

Car Thefts in Alberta 

A lack of nearby seaports doesn’t mean that other provinces are safe from car theft. 

In Alberta, car theft was up almost 20 percent in 2022, the third highest of any province. 

Unlike Quebec and Ontario, thieves in Alberta aren’t going after newer cars to sell overseas.

Instead, they are stripping cars for parts or changing cars’ identification numbers to sell within Canada.

In 2022, the most targeted cars in Alberta were older models of large pickup trucks, such as the Ford F350, Ram 1500, Ford F150, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

Kingma points out that simple prevention measures, like parking off-street and always ensuring cars are locked, can deter even the craftiest of thieves. The best deterrent, if the option is available, is to park in a locked garage.

Dozens of vehicles stolen from the Greater Toronto Area found inside shipping containers on the island country of Malta | CP24

This advice is crucial if you own specific models, such as the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover, which has the highest theft frequency of any model/year in Canada. 

In Edmonton, a  group targeted unlocked Land Rovers, exploiting the fact that unlocked Land Rovers have extended side mirrors, making them easier to identify as unlocked. Land Rovers are status vehicles, making them more in demand for resale.

So what car should you buy to avoid it getting stolen?

The Chevrolet Volt was the least stolen car in Canada, with only one reported theft.

Hybrid and electric cars are far less in demand because many regions overseas, like Africa and the Middle East, don’t have the infrastructure to support electric cars. Even in Alberta, EV infrastructure is only now slowly catching up in rural areas.

Some hybrids and electric cars also have extra security features, such as motion-activated cameras with cloud storage, making these cars much less attractive to thieves looking for an easy score. 

The black market for cars is constantly changing, responding to new market demands. 

Even if your car didn’t make the list as one of Canada’s most stolen vehicles this year, that could change next year. 

So always take necessary precautions, or risk having an empty driveway in time for your morning commute!

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