Jackie Dunham | CTVNews.ca 

TORONTO — Owners of Ford F-series pickup trucks should take extra care to lock their vehicles because it appears they’re a primary target for thieves.

Once again, Ford F250 and F350 trucks from the 2000s topped the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s annual ranking of the most stolen vehicles in Canada. In 2019, Ford pickup trucks took up eight of the top 10 spots on the list with the 2007 Ford F-350 claiming the unenviable title of most stolen vehicle for the year.

It’s unsurprising news for anyone who has been following the IBC’s annual ranking, which is based on insurance claims data collected from “nearly all” automobile insurance companies in Canada. Ford pickup trucks have consistently dominated the list since it began in 2003.

According to the IBC, Ford pickup trucks are prime targets because they lack ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring them.

“The lack of an ignition immobilizer is the number one reason this series of Ford trucks continues to take up the majority of spots on the list,” the association said in a press release Tuesday.

Interestingly, the Ford pickup trucks featured on the list were earlier models from before 2008 when new safety technology was installed in the vehicles.

As some of the most popular vehicles on the road, the prevalence of Ford pickup trucks in Canada, particularly in provinces such as Alberta, also contributed to the high rate of theft.

THE TOP 10 MOST STOLEN VEHICLES IN CANADA 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 auto thefts costing Canadians close to $1 billion each year, the IBC warns that thieves are becoming more sophisticated and using new technology to bypass security systems and electronically gain access to vehicles.

According to the bureau’s findings, technology had a “major impact” on vehicle thefts in 2019.

“Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs,” said Bryan Gast, the national director of investigative services at IBC.

The IBC said thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal from keyless entry fobs and open a locked vehicle’s door.

TIPS TO PREVENT VEHICLE FRAUD

To protect your vehicle, the IBC advises owners to avoid leaving their keyless entry fob in a vehicle or in an unprotected area near the entrance of your home.

If you want to leave your fob near the front door, the IBC said to place it in a protective box or bag that blocks the signal instead of in an exposed bowl or on a hallway table.

Additionally, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one, consider installing an immobilizing device to prevent thieves from hot-wiring it.

The IBC said Canadians should install a tracking device in their vehicles that can emit a signal to police or a monitoring station if a theft occurs.

OTHER TIPS

  • Don’t leave the vehicle running while it’s unattended
  • Lock the doors and close all windows when it’s parked
  • Make 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 steering wheel or brake pedal lock as a deterrent
  • Avoid leaving personal information, such as insurance or ownership details, in the glove box when the vehicle is left alone
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