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Honda Civic tops stolen vehicle list

Insurance Bureau lists the top stolen cars in Canada and offers tips on avoiding theft.


December 16, 2010
by CAR staff

VANCOUVER: The 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door is the most frequently stolen vehicle in Canada, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Every year, IBC publishes a list of the most often nicked cars. Honda Civics hold first and second place in 2010, followed by the Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD 2002 and 2004 models.

Acording to IBC, the appearance of high-value, all-wheel/four-wheel drive models on the list demonstrates that sophisticated, organized crime rings are involved. These types of vehicles are frequently targeted by criminal organizations that strip them for parts, re-sell them to unsuspecting consumers, or export them to countries where there is a high demand for upscale vehicles that can handle rugged terrain.

IBC, in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and local law enforcement agencies at the ports of Montreal and Halifax have seized 600 stolen vehicles worth $18 million this year to date. Including vehicles that were repatriated from overseas and those recovered using licence-plate reader technology, the value of stolen vehicles recovered by IBC in 2010 is $30.7 million. IBC will be arguing for the expansion of the ports program to the port of Vancouver for 2011.

The top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada are:
1. 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
2. 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
3. 2002 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD
4. 2004 Cadillac Escalade 4-door 4WD
5. 2005 Acura RSX Type S 2-door
6. 1997 Acura Integra 2-door
7. 2000 Audi S4 Quattro 4-door AWD
8. 2003 Hummer H2 4-door AWD
9. 2006 Acura RSX Type S 2-door
10. 2004 Hummer H2 4-door AWD

In November, the federal government passed Bill S-9, Tackling Auto Theft and Property Obtained by Crime Act, which gives CBSA the authority to seize stolen vehicles intended for export. Bill S-9 makes changes to the Criminal Code, including: making a separate offence for motor vehicle theft supported by tough sentences, creating the offence of altering, destroying or removing a vehicle identification number (VIN), and creating the offences of trafficking property obtained by crime and possession of property obtained by crime for the purpose of trafficking.

According to Statistics Canada, 108,172 vehicles were stolen in Canada in 2009, a drop of 15 percent from 2008. 19,614 of those vehicles were stolen in British Columbia. In 2009, auto theft cost Canadian insurers $419 million; adding emergency response, court, policing, legal and out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, the total cost of  auto theft each year in Canada approaches $1 billion.

A professional thief can steal a car in about 30 seconds, even without a key. Eight out of ten of the vehicles on Canada’s most frequently stolen list do not have an approved electronic immobilizer, which prevents thieves from starting a vehicle without the key.

Some things drivers can do to help protect their vehicle include:
–  Roll up car windows, lock the doors and pocket the key.
–  Keep the vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance in a purse or wallet at all times – not in the glovebox.
–  Never leave valuable objects or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk.
–  Never leave a vehicle running unattended. Approximately 20 percent of stolen cars have keys in them.
–  Always park in a well-lit and busy area.
–  At home, park in a garage if available and lock both the garage and car doors.

The above data regarding stolen vehicles is based on actual insurance claims information collected from companies that write almost all automobile insurance in Canada. This data can be found in the 2010 release of IBC’s “How Cars Measure Up,” which compares the insurance claims records of the most popular vehicle models across the country. It also lists the best and worst models according to claims made for collisions and theft. Consumers can look up the information they need before they buy a new or used car. “How Cars Measure Up” is designed to help consumers understand how theft, collision and other claims costs affect insurance premiums. For more information, visit IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and click on “How Cars Measure Up” under Popular Links.