The York Regional Police Auto/Cargo Theft Unit is warning citizens that thieves have discovered a new way for tracking and stealing high-end automobiles across York Region.

Officers have examined five occurrences since September 2021 in which suspects have put small monitoring devices on high-end vehicles to later locate and steal them. When parked in public venues like malls or parking lots, brand name ‘air tags’ are placed in out-of-sight areas of the target automobiles. The automobiles are then tracked to the victim’s home and stolen from the driveway.

Thieves commonly use screwdrivers to access vehicles through the driver or passenger doors while avoiding setting off alarms. Once inside, thieves use an electronic device to link to the diagnostics port and instruct the car to accept the key the thieves brought with them. This is all it takes to start a car and drive it away.

More than 2,000 vehicles were stolen in the region last year. The Auto/Cargo Theft Unit has done everything to solve this issue, launching several significant projects that have resulted in the arrest of over 100 people, the filing of significant charges, and the recovery of approximately 350 vehicles in the last year. Despite this achievement, thieves are always coming up with new ways to make these crimes easier, and the number of vehicle thefts continues to climb.

Worried vehicle owners should consider the following safety tips:

– Park your car in a secure garage. Cars are usually taken from driveways.
– Use a steering wheel lock
– Secure the data port with a lock. This inexpensive gadget prevents criminals from accessing the computer port, which allows them to reprogram the vehicle’s keys.
– Consider investing in a quality video surveillance system where the camera is operational for day and night use. Please familiarize yourself with the system to be quickly retrieved and reviewed.
– Regularly inspect your vehicle and report any suspicious potential tracking devices to the police.



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