For Car Thieves, Toronto Is a ‘Candy Store,’ and Drivers Are Fed Up

For Car Thieves, Toronto Is a ‘Candy Store,’ and Drivers Are Fed Up

Canada|For Car Thieves, Toronto Is a ‘Candy Store,’ and Drivers Are Fed Up

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/24/world/canada/toronto-car-theft-epidemic.html

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A car’s wheel lock, seen through its window.

Toronto Dispatch

An epidemic of auto thefts in Canada’s largest city has left many residents exasperated, with some getting creative about deterrence efforts, such as installing bollards in home driveways.

After his previous two cars were stolen, Dennis Wilson installed theft prevention measures, including a steering wheel lock, on his newest vehicle.Credit…Ian Willms for The New York Times

Toronto Dispatch

An epidemic of auto thefts in Canada’s largest city has left many residents exasperated, with some getting creative about deterrence efforts, such as installing bollards in home driveways.

By Vjosa Isai

Vjosa Isai drove around Toronto in a Volkswagen Passat with 290,000 miles on it, a vehicle not coveted by car thieves, to report this article.

Whenever Dennis Wilson wants to take a drive in his new SUV, he has to set aside an extra 15 minutes. That’s about how long it takes to remove the car’s steering wheel club, undo four tire locks and lower a yellow bollard before backing out of his driveway.

His Honda CR-V is also fitted with two alarm systems, a vehicle tracking device and, for good measure, four Apple AirTags. Its remote-access key fob rests in a Faraday bag, to jam illicit unlocking signals.

As a final touch, he mounted two motion-sensitive floodlights on his house and aimed them at the driveway in his modest neighborhood in Toronto.

But all of these security gadgets, Mr. Wilson is convinced, will do no more than delay what seems inevitable: Toronto’s seasoned auto thieves won’t be deterred by the defensive gear, and they’ll make off with this Honda SUV just as they did with its predecessor — and its insurance replacement, which they returned to steal.

“By no means do I think that I’ve stopped them,” Mr. Wilson said. “All I’ve done is made it take an extra 10 minutes to steal my car.”

Image

Tire locks and a bollard are some of the other visible security measures Mr. Wilson has installed.Credit…Ian Willms for The New York Times

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