Missing your Nissan Maxima, Chevy Silverado or Jeep Liberty? According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), you’re not alone.
The IBC released their top 10 list of stolen cars in 2017 for Atlantic Canada on Tuesday, which indicated that the top three cars coveted by thieves in the Maritimes is the 2009 Nissan Maxima, the 2002 Chevy Silverado and the 2011 Jeep Liberty.
The list, which is compiled from data submitted by insurance companies across the nation, also revealed a six per cent national increase in car theft in Canada during 2017, totaling nearly 85,000 stolen vehicle reports.
IBC spokesperson Vanessa Barrasa points out that these crimes costs Canadians and insurers alike.
“Automobile theft is just much more than an insurance problem, it’s also an economic social menace to society,” Barrasa said. “It costs a total of $1 billion to Canadians. That includes $524 million for insurers to either fix or replace stolen vehicles, $250 million in police, healthcare and court system costs, and millions more in correctional services.”
Six provinces saw increased motor vehicle theft in 2017, with New Brunswick spiking the highest at 28 per cent, while Nova Scotia experienced similar rates as the previous year.
Const. John MacLeod with the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) says that many factors can affect numbers and statistics regarding automobile theft.
“Those kinds of things really have to turn on the numbers, and even the numbers aren’t necessarily indicative,” said MacLeod. “That could be a result of a number of arrests that we made for people who are particularly into thefts of motor vehicles as opposed to, for example, someone gets released into New Brunswick who is particularly into thefts of motor vehicles. Those kinds of things can kind of sway your numbers depending on what it is involving.”
“There’s kind of a lot of different factors in there that could be at play.”
WATCH: Auto theft: it’s not just your car they want
However, Barrasa claims the vehicles themselves aren’t the only thing criminals are interested in stealing, especially during the holiday season.
“Make sure you don’t have any loose change or cellphones or that sort of thing — anything that could make your vehicle seem like a potential cash grab for a thief,” says Barrasa. “Even if you just leave your wallet, or your ownership, or your insurance information in your glove compartment, that could lead to identity theft.”
“Criminals are criminals of opportunity.”
HRP’s crime map has already listed three automobile thefts and nearly 20 reports of thefts from vehicles over the past two weeks. A more comprehensive list of the top 10 cars stolen in Canada can be located on the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s website detailing various data for each province.