Auto thefts reached new highs in 2022 with Ontario and Quebec hit hardest. A new report examines what vehicles thieves are setting their sights on.
The 2020 Honda CR-V maintained its spot at the top of the list as the most stolen vehicle, according to the Équité Association. Out of the more than 469,000 insured vehicles in Canada, more than 5,600 were stolen. While the number of thefts was more than double the second-highest vehicle — the 2022 Dodge RAM 1500 series had 2,600 of its 508,000 insured vehicles stolen — it was actually fourth when it came to percentage (1.2 per cent).
The 2020 Land Rover Range Rover has 3.9 per cent of its insured vehicles — 1,343 out of 34,201 — stolen. The 2020 Lexus RX Series was stolen at a rate of 1.9 per cent — 1,815 out of 93,766 — followed by the 2021 Toyota Highlander at 1.5 per cent (1,759 out of 117,663).
The 2019 Honda Civic was the only one in the top 10 that wasn’t an SUV or truck. It saw nearly 1,500 of its about 705,000 vehicles stolen (0.2 per cent). It was also one of two — the other being the 2006 Chevrolet/GMC/Silverado Series — that made the top 10 list that had a model year older than 2020.
The Équité Association noted that criminals aim to maximize profits by stealing newer vehicles to sell overseas or by re-VINing them to deceive unsuspecting Canadian buyers domestically.
Ontario saw auto theft increase by 48 per cent with Quebec jumping 50 per cent. Vehicles are being stolen by both domestic and international criminal organizations, with proceeds funding domestic drug trafficking, and international terrorism, the association said.
“The auto theft problem in our country is only getting worse,” said Bryan Gast, vice president of investigative services at Équité Association. “Organized crime continues to look to Canada as a source nation for stolen vehicles where the financial reward is high and the risk of prosecution is low. We continue to work with partners and stakeholders to provide expert vehicle examinations, expertise in insurance crime investigations and to share intelligence and analytics to predict and prevent insurance crimes.”