The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is advising residents across the city of a sharp increase of vehicle thefts over the last month with thieves targeting newer models of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) Honda CR-V.
OPS tweeted on Thursday, Aug. 18, that over 70 Honda CR-Vs were stolen in the past six weeks alone.
Over 70 Honda CR-Vs were stolen in the past six weeks alone. Vehicles are most often stolen during overnight hours, and this is happening across the city.— Ottawa Police (@OttawaPolice) August 18, 2022
•Get a Port lock.
•Get an Electronic Vehicle Immobilizer.
•Park your vehicle in a garage.
From a press release released in May of this year, OPS noted that over 200 vehicle thefts have been reported so far this year compared to half that number for the same period in 2021.
The OPS said from the previous release, that while many Honda CR-V SUVs have been stolen, other makes and models of vehicles that are equipped with a proximity key (i.e. push-button start) such as newer models of Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlanders, Lexus RX as well as Ford F-Series trucks (higher trim level) have also been targeted.
Owners of high theft vehicles are encouraged to report attempted vehicle thefts to police, including incidents where there is no damage to the vehicle, but factory key fobs no longer work.
The OPS said people should park their cars inside garages, adding if a vehicle is not visible, it doesn't become a target. Other tips include using a steering wheel lock and making sure the vehicle's alarm system is working properly.
Catherine Brown, a staff sergeant the OPS, told The Sam Laprade Show on Friday, Aug. 19 that for thieves, taking expensive cars, is a lucrative business.
"If a vehicle retails for $60,000, and they can sell it overseas they can get an extra $20,000," she said.
Brown said patrol officers have been extra vigilant.
"We know what we are looking for," she added. "Everyone is kept in the loop and on the new trends."
Listen to the full interview with Catherine Brown below: