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Stealing Spree: Car theft rising in Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario — A recent crime wave has left Ottawa Police with a grim warning: vehicle theft is on the rise.

Between Jan 1 and May 31, the Ottawa Police says there were 230 reported vehicle thefts in 2022, twice as many as in 2021. In the latter half of May alone, 21 Honda CRVs were reported stolen. Theft of newer vehicles like the Toyota Highlander is also on the rise, due in large part to their proximity keys.

“We have noted a shift in trends regarding vehicle thefts as we are now seeing a sudden spike in CRV thefts from owner driveways,” said Det. Doug Belanger of the Central Criminal Investigation Unit. “More vehicles being taken from car dealerships outside their hours of operation.”

Other parts of Ontario are not much safer from car theft. In the past week, 47 vehicles in North York  and 23 Scarborough were reported stolen.

According to the Ottawa Police, most thefts occur when the thief breaches the driver-side door and reprograms a new key in the vehicle. A rarer, more sophisticated method involves copying fob signals from a target’s home, allowing thieves to unlock and start the vehicle.

For more tips from the Ottawa Police, click here. It may not be foolproof, but might be enough to deter a carjacker from choosing your ride as their next target.

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