Thieves are stealing cars in Oakville at an alarming rate…but they are being particular.
Halton Region Police say the increase is a result of the thieves targeting specific makes and models of vehicles and using advanced technology to do so.
Car thieves are targeting 2017 – 2020 Lexus vehicles including models RX350 and GX460, Toyota Highlander and the Land Rover Ranger Rover model.
The bad guys usually strike between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
However, Oakville is not alone is this rash of thefts as the culprits are searching throughout Ontario looking for these specific vehicles. That’s because they are in demand abroad and shipped to welcoming customers willing to pay a high price.
Police say these vehicles typically have no tracking capability from the manufacturer or dealership, making recovery difficult once the vehicle is stolen.
As well, the organized ring appear to be using a signal relay device to help get these cars in most cases.
The device works by accessing the signal transmitted by the vehicle’s key fobs. Once inside, the suspects are able to start the vehicle and drive away within minutes of their arrival at the residence.
A review of available security video shows suspects approaching the residences on foot, and then utilizing the device to defeat the security systems.
Police offer the following advice in an effort to keep your car safe.
- Park your vehicle within a locked/secure garage as the majority are stolen from residential driveways
- If a garage is not accessible, park another vehicle behind it in the driveway to act as a physical barrier to its removal
- Lock the data port using a simple device that can be purchased online that blocks access to the computer port where thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle’s keys
- Invest in an aftermarket global positioning system tracker or have one installed by the dealer, as it may assist in recovery of the vehicle if it is stolen
- Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are locked and secure
- Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
- Never leave spare keys outside of your residence
- When not in use, place vehicle keys inside a radio frequency shielding bag/pouch to block cell signals
- Equip your vehicle with an alarm
- Use other devices to deter thefts (e.g. steering wheel locking device)
- Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system and ensure your cameras are properly placed and functioning for 24-hour use
Anyone with questions or information about these vehicle thefts is asked to contact Det. Omar Nadim at the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext. 2278.