OPS says thieves on the lookout for remote-start vehicles

OTTAWA – The Ottawa police continues to be concerned with risk of thefts of high-end Lexus and Toyota vehicles in Ottawa, particularly larger SUVs, 4 Runner and Tacoma. 

Since April 19 there have been five Lexus vehicles stolen in Ottawa; three have been recovered.

We remind car owners of the following tips to protect their vehicle:

Make your vehicle less vulnerable to theft by parking it in a locked garage and or by blocking it in tightly with a second vehicle. Exterior lighting and video surveillance around the driveway can also serve as a deterrent.

Consider installing an after marker electronic immobilizer devices which can interfere with the starting of the vehicle.

Be vigilant that there is no damage to the door locks mechanisms as this could be an indicator that your car has been targeted.

Consider protecting your vehicle with devices such as car alarms or steering wheel locking devices such as The Club.

GPS tracking devices have become increasingly popular. Some even allow the vehicle owner to electronically “fence-in” their vehicle whereby an alarm cue would occur if the vehicle were to leave the fenced-in area without authorization.

Locks to restrict access to the on-board diagnostic plug exist and when applied can impede a thief from re-programming a key.

If you are selling your vehicle, be wary not to let anyone have access to your car keys and do not let your vehicle out of your sight. This prevents a thief from copying your key during a “test drive” so they can return to steal it.

Finally, good old fashioned neighbourhood watch is a great deterrent. Be vigilant and call 911 to report any suspicious vehicles in your neighbourhood. Most thefts occur between midnight and 5am in the morning.

“Investigators have not yet seen the use of signal amplifiers in Ottawa,” the Ottawa Police Service released in a statement. “In the event that this technology makes its way to Ottawa, a simple line of defense is to consider keeping any vehicle with a proximity key fob inside a radio frequency shield device (RSF device).”

This will prevent the key fob’s signal from being amplified to the vehicle from inside the house protecting it from being driven away.

More safety tips are available online.