Every year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada publishes a list of the 10 most frequently stolen vehicles. These are the cars and trucks (mostly trucks) that are most likely to be missing from your driveway when you come out to start them in the morning.
The IBC is a national organization representing nearly all of the private insurance companies in Canada. This means they have a pretty big interest in avoiding car theft, since it costs insurers more than half a billion dollars every year to fix and replace stolen vehicles. Some of those vehicles are stolen to commit crimes, some for joyrides, but "many others are stolen by organized crime groups to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in Canada, shipped abroad or stripped down for parts," says the IBC.
"Electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like keyless entry fobs," said Bryan Gast, National Director of Investigative Services, IBC. Vehicle thieves use new technology that can capture the signal from your wireless key transmitter and allow them to access the vehicle, so the IBC suggests not keeping your keys unprotected near your front door. "Regardless of how a vehicle is stolen, auto theft is a serious threat to Public Safety and continues to cost all Canadians."
This year's list is little changed from last year's. That's probably not much of a surprise, though, since the IBC says that "this year's list includes nine vehicles that don't have ignition immobilizers, which are devices that can prevent thieves from hot-wiring a vehicle." How important is an immobilizer? The IBC says the lack of one is "the number one reason" why this year's winner is perennially at the top of the list. Gast told us that since immobilizers were mandated in 2007, that auto theft is down 38 percent.
So here are the 10 vehicles most frequently stolen this year, along with some tips to help prevent your ride from becoming just another statistic.
10. 1998 Honda Civic Si Coupe
This year's list had a little bit more variety than last, and that's thanks to an oldie but a goodie making it on the chart. Go back when these cars were more common on the road and they were frequently on the top theft list. Though thieves of these Si models may have ended up disappointed since the Canadian Si wasn't the high-revving Si from the U.S., instead our Si was more of an American EX and the quick one was the SiR.
9. 2002 Ford F-350 4x4
You're going to see a lot of Super Duty on the list, and that's not a new trend. The F-250 and F-350 are popular with people who need to tow and haul, and that includes car thieves. These trucks have taken seven or more of the top 10 spots every year since 2013.
8. 2005 Ford F-250 4x4
Another first-generation Super Duty pickup, this time the three-quarter-ton version. Is there anything you can do to reduce your risk? The IBC suggests some easy steps like not leaving your vehicle running while unattended and making sure that all doors are locked and windows closed. That means no more warming it up with the keys inside!
7. 2018 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX was one of the first luxury crossovers, and it maintains a place as one of the best, 20 years down the road. Last year, Lexus was the only brand to break up the Ford sweep, though that was the more rugged GX model. This year's list entry includes the full line of RX models, both the gas and hybrid-powered versions. Gast said that many of these newer vehicles are stolen by organized crime, destined for sale overseas.
6. 2003 Ford F-350 4x4
Yes, another Super Duty. So what else can you do to try to protect your big truck? Try and park in well-lit areas or inside a garage. Though, admittedly, fitting one of these pickups could require a larger garage. If you've got a newer, immobilizer-equipped vehicle, park it in front of the older one, blocking the old car in.
5. 2006 Ford F-250 4x4
Mechanical theft deterrents like a steering wheel or brake pedal lock can help keep your vehicle where you left it. They don't make it impossible to steal, but that's why they're called deterrents. They could be just enough to make a car thief move on to the next ride.
4. 2004 Ford F-350 4x4
Insurance groups recommend that you don't keep important personal information, things like your insurance form and registration, in the glove box. Because then a thief could have your car and your address. Just remember to bring them with you when you go for a drive, because not having them with you can make you the lawbreaker instead.
3. 2005 Ford F-350 4x4
2005 saw a new grille design and the addition of a locking tailgate for the Super Duty trucks. Not that thieves are likely worried about getting the newer version with bigger brakes, though. Maybe try putting some big 2WD stickers on your SD, since all of the trucks on the list were 4x4.
2. 2006 Ford F-350 4x4
Even if your vehicle didn't come with an immobilizer from the factory, adding one can be a relatively quick, easy, and affordable way to protect it. Gast said that many of these trucks are being recovered, suggesting they're thefts of opportunity or to be used in crimes. So stopping it from going could save your vehicle, though this fix won't be free.
1. 2007 Ford F-350 4x4
A vehicle is stolen in Canada every six minutes, and while pickups top the list nationally, Ontario and Quebec show many nearly new luxury SUVs and crossovers (the entire QC list is made up of Lexus and Toyota models newer than 2015). So even if your vehicle isn't one of these mentioned, the tips we've given you can help make sure that your vehicle stays your vehicle.
[Editor's Note: Ford didn't have older photos of its HD trucks available, so we made do with that we had...]