Ford F-series pickup truck owners should take extra care to lock their vehicles, as it looks like they are the main target of thieves.
Once again, the 2000's Ford F250 and F350 trucks outperformed the Canadian Insurance Bureau's annual ranking one of Canada's most stolen vehicles. In 2019, Ford pickups took eight of the top 10 places on the list, with the 2007 Ford F-350 claiming the enviable title of most stolen vehicle of the year.
This is surprising news for anyone following the annual IBC ranking, which is based on insurance claim data collected from "almost all" auto insurance companies in Canada. Ford pickups have consistently dominated the list since their inception in 2003.
According to the IBC, Ford pickup trucks are the main targets because they do not have ignition immobilizers, devices that can prevent thieves from holding them warm.
"The lack of an ignition immobilizer is the main reason why this series of Ford trucks continues to occupy most of the list," the association said in a press release on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the listed Ford pickups were earlier models from 2008, when new safety technology was installed on the vehicles.
Like some of the most popular vehicles on the road, the prevalence of Ford pickup trucks in Canada, particularly in provinces like Alberta, also contributed to the high theft rate.
Canada's Top 10 Most Stolen VEHICLES IN 2019
Ford 350SD AWD 2007
Ford 350SD AWD 2006
Ford 350SD AWD 2005
Ford 350SD AWD 2004
Ford 250SD AWD 2006
Ford 350SD AWD 2003
Lexus RX350 / RX350L / RX450h / RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998
With car thefts costing Canadians close to $ 1 billion a year, the IBC warns that thieves are becoming more sophisticated and using new technologies to bypass security systems and gain electronic access to vehicles.
According to the agency's findings, the technology had a "big impact" on vehicle thefts in 2019.
"Electronic car theft is increasing across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology such as keyless entry keyrings," said Bryan Gast, IBC's national director of investigative services.
The IBC said thieves could use wireless transmitters to intercept the keyless entry door signal and open the door of a locked vehicle.
TIPS TO AVOID VEHICLE FRAUD
To protect your vehicle, IBC advises homeowners to avoid leaving the keyless entry keychain in a vehicle or in an unprotected area near the entrance of their home.
If you want to leave your pocket near the front door, the IBC should put it in a protective case or bag that blocks the signal rather than an exposed bowl or aisle table.
Also, if your vehicle is not yet equipped with one, consider installing an immobilizer to prevent thieves from hot plugging it.
The IBC said Canadians should install a tracking device on their vehicles that could signal police or a monitoring station if a theft occurred.
Do not leave vehicle running while unattended
Lock doors and close all windows when parked
Be sure to park in well lit areas or in a garage.
Use a visible or audio device to alert potential thieves that the vehicle is protected.
Consider using a handwheel or brake pedal lock as a deterrent.
Avoid leaving personal information, such as property or insurance details, in the glove compartment when the vehicle is left unattended.