Briefly: Warding Off Car Thieves

Recovery specialist offers consumers anti-theft tips.

Thieves make off with stolen vehicles every four minutes in Canada–and they’re getting more sophisticated, pretending to be in the market for a used car, or even drawing information from car computer systems, say law enforcement officials.

With that in mind, owners should be more proactive when it comes to protecting their vehicles, according to Boomerang Tracking, a vehicle recovery specialist. The group has published a how-to booklet, Keeping Track, which outlines anti-theft options.

Stolen vehicles, and even lost contents can cost drivers up to $2,500 in out-of-pocket expenses, estimates Scott Nilson, Boomerang’s general manager. “While many drivers might feel like vehicle theft is a problem that will never happen to them, that is unfortunately not always the case.”

“Every driver has a part to play in stopping vehicle theft: it is essential that consumers take a proactive role in protecting themselves,” he said in a recent statement. “We believe that the more layers of protection a driver uses, the safer their vehicle will be.”

Smarter thieves

Police officials in Montreal–where the auto theft rate is 30% higher than the rest of the country–note that thieves have ramped up their strategies.

“Certain organizations remove the lock of the vehicle’s door, plug a computer to the engine control module, extract the information of the vehicle, put back the lock and leave the vehicle. With that information in hand, the thieves can easily make a copy of the key and then steal the car whenever they want,” says Peter Lambrinakos, Commander of the Service de police de la Ville de Montreal.

Among the tips offered by Montreal police:

  • Parking in well lit areas
  • Locking all doors
  • Installing a starter lock and steering wheel lock
  • Installing a vehicle tracking system
  • Equipping your vehicle with a car alarm
  • Using an anti-theft marking product
  • Leaving no valuables visible in the vehicle, including cell phones, laptops or handbags

Boomerang’s anti-theft booklet is available at

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