The group that represents insurance companies across the country said theft from your own driveway using widely available electronic tools is on the increase across the country as thieves respond to demand from high-end buyers. abroad and street runners here at home. The four-door, all-wheel-drive 2018 Honda CRV holds the ignominious title of being the most stolen vehicle in Canada this year, with 350 thefts reported by insurers across the country – nearly one a day.
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Drivers often worry that something like their window will be broken and their car will be stolen this way. But today’s cheap and abundant technological tools make it much easier to steal a car.
Bryan Gast, national director of investigative services at the IBC, said in an interview with CBC News that the biggest trend he’s seeing this year is what’s called a “relay attack.”
“This means they acquire your signal from your keychain, clone your keychain, and [then] have the ability to start your vehicle without ever having the original key fob, ”he says.
“It’s as easy as walking to your front door, see if they can pick up the signal from a key fob that might be inside. They are not going anywhere in your house. They capture him from the outside. And they have the ability to technologically clone the device and have the ability to jump start your car and drive off. ”
New technology “makes it easier for criminals”
The best tool in the fight against electronic theft, says Gast, is to not do what most people do – walk into their house and leave their keys in a bowl or other exposed place, right behind the front door. Entrance. Instead, he recommends getting a metal box for the car keys, one that blocks radio frequencies.
“If you put it in a box, it doesn’t emit a radio frequency. Basically it is in a protective box or pouch and [criminals] do not have the ability to capture this keychain signal. ”
Cars made since 2008 have required some kind of built-in car mobilization technology, and it has changed auto theft trends ever since, Gast says.
“Most of the time when people leave the key chains in their vehicles, that’s where they keep them. They allow you to get in easily, press the button to start and go. But it also makes it easier for criminals. , as well. ”
There’s another vulnerability built into something many drivers do as a precaution: When they’re in a parking lot, they verify that their car is locked by pressing the key fob.
But a thief in the area with the right technology can clone the keychain from this.
“You emit this frequency, which can also be captured,” Gast said.
Many of the most stolen vehicles are high-end, expensive, full-size cars that can be difficult to acquire outside of North America, which is why Gast says a great motivator for the theft is not a criminal looking for a joy ride or for sale. locally. The thief often has a specific request for a specific vehicle and then sets out to find it.
Convenient technology just makes it easier, so right now a car is stolen somewhere in Canada every six minutes.
Theft on the rise in COVID
Although COVID-19 has resulted in more cars being parked due to people working from home, it has also resulted in an increase in one type of car theft, Gast says. Namely, people looking for specific parts and vehicles to use in street racing events and other reckless driving behavior.
“The problem is stealing parts for some of these modified vehicles in the vehicles themselves,” he said. “The police definitely have their hands full. ”