Wellington County OPP search for a stolen pick-up truck. Photo courtesy the OPP.Wellington County OPP search for a stolen pick-up truck. Photo courtesy the OPP.

Organized criminals targeting newer pick ups and SUVs

OPP warn vehicle owners that organized criminals are targeting newer model pick up trucks and SUVs across the province.

OPP Sgt. Robert Simpson said thieves will scout a neighbourhood days ahead looking for their target, noting vehicle identification numbers (VIN), and searching for alarm systems.

He added the criminals return in the middle of the night, and use high-tech tools that can quickly circumvent the existing anti-theft technologies on vehicles.

"Thieves amplify or copy the frequency of the key fob, usually left by the front door , start your vehicle and drive away," he explained. "Stolen vehicles are then sold, often in other countries around the world. Now these thefts happen quickly, sometimes in mere minutes. And sometimes in a span of hours, that stolen vehicle is on a shipping container leaving the country."

Simpson suggested people could use a "faraday bag" to store their keys, well away from doors and windows.

"These handy little bags isolate your key fobs frequency, and prevent thieves from copying or amplifying the frequency of your key fob to start your vehicle. " he said.

Vehicle owners could also park in a garage or consider a security camera. Other anti theft ideas include a steering wheel lock like the club, or an audible alarm. It's a good idea to find a temporary way to cover the VIN displayed on the front windshield of the vehicle.

The vehicle ownership, proof of insurance, and any other sensitive documents should not be kept in your glove box.

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