Theft of Motor Vehicles -Newer Toyotas and Lexus SUV’s

15 11 2019

Message from Jeffrey Kostuch, Ottawa Police

During the overnight late hours, in the past weeks in the area of Laurentian View, Westboro, McKellar Park and Highland Park

subjects are targeting residences with newer model Toyotas or Lexus SUV’s parked in the laneway. It’s believed they have an electronic tablet and hack into the diagnostic system, reprogramming the ignition and alarm to a new Fob. Allowing the vehicle to be driven away.

Vehicle owners can take measures in an effort to reduce the likelihood of their vehicle being stolen.

  • In cases where a vehicle thief is selecting the vehicle to steal, anti-theft devices such as car alarms, steering wheel locking devices such as “The Club”, and electronic immobilizer devices, can act as a strong deterrent for a theft of opportunity.
  • GPS tracking units have become increasingly popular and some allow the vehicle owner to electronically “fence-in” their vehicle whereby an alarm cue would occur if the vehicle were to leave the fenced-in area without authorization.
  • Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle.
  • Do not leave the vehicle running while unattended.
  • Be vigilant that no one has tampered with the door locks mechanisms.
  • If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys or your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return later to steal it.
  • Exterior motion detection lights are great to alert the home owner that someone is in their driveway and will light up a potential thief.
  • Surveillance cameras on the property can be a great deterrent, and as long as there is adequate lighting. They can provide photographic evidence in cases where the vehicle is taken.
  • Be suspicious of vehicles travelling in your neighbourhood, potential thieves scouting out the neighbourhood frequently will have several individuals in it who will serve as drivers to drive the freshly stolen cars away.
  • Finally, good old fashioned Neighbourhood Watch is a great deterrent. Call 911 to report any suspicious activity; be vigilant.

Cst. Jeff Kostuch, 1579
Ottawa Police Service/Service de police d’Ottawa
Community Safety Services/services de sécurité de proximité