On April 9, 2018, the South Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) launched the Pocket Your Keys (#PYK) campaign to help reduce the theft of vehicles, theft of goods from vehicles. One year later and the South Bruce OPP are sharing the same message.
In 2017, there were 106 stolen vehicles reported to the South Bruce OPP.
In 2018, there were a total of 84 stolen vehicles reported to the South Bruce OPP.
Year-to-date in 2019, 11 stolen vehicles have been reported to the South Bruce OPP.
There is a significant decrease in the reported stolen vehicles in 2018; however there are still far too many motor vehicles being stolen.
In majority of the stolen vehicle cases across the province, the thefts were preventable. This means that the vehicle was left unlocked, had the keys inside or was left running making it easy for thieves.
Why do thieves steal vehicles?
Thieves generally steal vehicles for one of four reasons:
- To get somewhere referred to as joyriding
- To commit another crime
- To sell abroad
- To sell to unsuspecting consumers or by being dismantled and sold for parts
When a vehicle is stolen, the consequences go far beyond its loss. The vehicle could be used in a criminal act like a break and enter, transporting stolen property, trafficking of drugs or human trafficking. Another risk for a vehicle owner is the liability should it become involved in a serious crash.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that each year, automobile theft costs Canadians close to $1 billion, including $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada made a list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in 2018:
- 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2003 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2006 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
- 2001 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU
- 2000 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
- 2015 LEXUS GX460 4DR AWD SUV
- 2001 FORD F250 SD 4WD PU
The South Bruce OPP is reminding you of some simple steps that will help reduce the number of stolen vehicles and protect you as the vehicle owner:
- 1. Do not leave your keys in your vehicle.
- 2. Do not leave your vehicle running.
- 3. Lock your vehicle.
- 4. Treat your keys like cash – Don’t leave keys in places where they are easy to steal such as a gym locker, on your desk at work, in an open purse or unattended in a shopping cart.
- 5. Never leave anything in your vehicle in plain view such as loose change, cell phones, cameras, clothing, gifts, cigarettes, medication, firearms or any other valuables.
- 6. Install a remote car starter – Remote starters are designed to shut off if anyone attempts to drive the vehicle without a key. This will allow you to warm up your car without risk of theft.
Other methods of preventing your vehicle from being stolen is to install anti-theft devices such as wheel clubs, wheel boots, aftermarket ignition kill switches, or radio-frequency identification (RFID) car immobilizers.
Theft is a crime of opportunity that you can help control — #PocketYourKeys.