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24 | CAA MAGAZINE TARGETED BY THIEVES Each year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada lis ts the mos t-s tolen vehicles in the country. Here are the top 5 models taken in 2020. 5 2018 Ford F150 4WD 3 2017 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD 1 2018 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD 2 2017 Lexus RX350/450h 4DR AWD 4 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/ RX450h/ RX450hL 4DR AWD and Alberta are the two main hot spots. The Atlantic provinces account for only 3.4 percent of all vehicle thes, but thes are on the rise there, too. In the Prairies, thieves go aer pickup trucks, while in Ontario, the targets are oen vehicles from Lexus, Honda and Toyota. THERE'S A MARKET FOR STOLEN CARS Vehicles are taken for a wide variety of reasons, explains Bryan Gast, national director of investigative services at IBC. Gast works under the assumption that roughly half of all stolen vehicles are likely being taken by organized criminals and sold overseas. "They have their shopping list of vehicles," he explains. "Organized crime groups are stealing these vehicles, and then they're shipping them out of the port of Montreal or the port of Halifax. A $140,000 Mercedes can be sold overseas for, say, $280,000. There's a big market, and it's very lucrative." Gast says he's seen these cars end up in Europe, West Africa and the Caribbean. "They're really spread out," he adds. As for the stolen vehicles that don't end up on a cargo ship, they're taken for a multitude of purposes, Gast says. Some vehicles are cut up and sold for parts, while others are stolen for joyrides. "Some stolen vehicles are being used to commit other offences, say armed robberies or crimes of violence, where they want to be anonymous," he says. Last summer, Haywood's auto squad helped to bust a car the ring that was operating across Ontario, which ultimately led to 194 criminal charges and the recovery of 36 stolen vehicles, with an estimated value of $4.2 million. In this case, thieves were puing new vehicle identification numbers ( VINs) on stolen cars—a process called re-vinning—in order to fraudulently register them with Service Ontario, likely in the hopes of selling them. TECH-SAVVY THIEVES "The hot-wiring days are mostly long gone," Haywood says. Stealing a modern car involves a lot more than breaking the steering column lock and jamming a screwdriver into the ignition. As cars have become more high-tech, he says thieves have become increasingly tech savvy, as well. Thieves can use the same tools as dealerships to reprogram blank electronic car keys, Haywood says. They do that in your driveway and then drive your car straight to a port to be shipped overseas. Relay box aacks, which involve hijacking a signal from an electronic key and using it to trick a car into thinking the key is inside, are an emerging threat. "These relay aacks have been happening for years in Europe," Gast says. "But we're seeing evidence that they're starting to happen in Canada, specifically in the Greater Toronto Area." The true cost of auto the in Canada is enormous. IBC estimates that the amount is close to $1 billion annually, which includes $542 million for insurers to fix or replace stolen vehicles and $250 million for police and other public services (such as the courts) to investigate and prosecute the crime. WHAT INSURANCE COVERS How much your insurance company will pay if your vehicle gets stolen depends on many factors, says Pete Karageorgos,

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