If you, like many other Canadians, own an F150 pickup truck, youhave likely heard some sobering statistics on how popular this vehicle seriesis among thieves. Each year, this vehicle appears on Équité Association’s annual Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles List, along with the Honda CR-V, Lexus RX series and other cars that span affordable and luxury categories. The city of Edmonton, Alberta, experienced a particularly serious rash of thefts over the course of two days in February 2022, after nearly 20 F150s were scooped using technology to defeat the trucks’ built-in security systems.
Auto theft is a serious crime that not only deprives innocent Canadians of the vehicles they rely on for daily life; it also helps fund both domestic and international criminal organizations. It is a complex problem that can onlybe solved through collaboration and partnerships between insurers, law enforcement, and government agencies.
Équité Association is member funded by Canada’s largest insurance companies, which means our insurance industry is directly invested in fighting insurance crime and protecting Canadians. Équité works with its members and law enforcement partners, not only to help track down stolen vehicles, but to identify stolen vehicles and return them to their rightful owner.
One of the challenges in combatting auto theft is that it crosses borders. Crime rings can span provinces, countries and even continents. In the case of the Edmonton F150 crime wave, the alleged culprits were three men from Ontario, who travelled across the country to carry out their thefts. In many cases, thieves transport the stolen vehicles to port cities, such as Montreal, where they are exported overseas. This is why a coordinated approach involving several organizations ,such as our partners at the Canadian Border Services Agency, law enforcement and Équité investigators, is essential to disrupt auto theft.
When it comes to auto theft, the best offense is a good defense. In terms of prevention, Équité recommends using the layered approach, which consists of four categories as outlined below:
Layer 1: The simple, common sense steps
Layer 2: Install visible or audible anti-theft devices
Layer 3: Install a vehicle immobilizer
Layer 4: Invest in a tracking system
The techniques criminals are employing are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated; even the best prevention efforts may not stop a thief from getting away with your vehicle. However, you can assist law enforcement by installing a tracking system. These devices use a signal to alert the owner or a monitoring service that the car has been stolen. Another type of tracking system uses telematics, which works with the car’s GPS system and wireless technology to track the vehicle remotely.
Tracking services install multiple and difficult to locate tracking devices throughout a vehicle. In the event of a theft, these devices can be tracked at anytime and anywhere in North America.
Being vigilant can help prevent your vehicle from being stolen. By adopting the layered approach, vehicle owners can determine the best anti-theft measures that suit their needs and respective risk level. And while you take the steps to protect your vehicle, Équité Association, its members and partners will continue to work together to fight insurance fraud and crime.