Nearly one-third of Canadians are worried about their vehicle being stolen as a spike in thefts have occurred across Canada.  
Those were the findings of a BNN Bloomberg and RATESDOTCA survey conducted by Leger between April 21-23. The poll sampled 1,515 Canadians over the age of 18.  
Car thefts have been rising after experiencing a decline during the first year of the pandemic, with Toronto seeing 9,439 incidents in 2022, compared with 6,518 in 2021, according to data from Toronto police. Insurance companies have blamed the increase on the surge in vehicle prices and shortages that have caused delivery delays, making theft much more lucrative for criminals.  
The survey found that 31 per cent of women are worried about vehicle theft, compared to 24 per cent of men. As well, those with annual incomes of less than $60,000 are more worried as a group (30 per cent), compared to those with incomes more than $100,000 (24 per cent).  
Just this week, Toronto police announced they had recovered more than 500 stolen vehicles in an investigation dubbed ‘Project Stallion’ that began last November. A total of 119 people were arrested and are facing 314 charges. The recovered vehicles were worth more than $27 million.  
A majority of Canadians — 85 per cent — say they have taken precautions to prevent their vehicle from being stolen. Sixty-two per cent say they don’t leave valuables in their car, while nearly one-third park their car in a secure or well-lit location.  
Another 17 per cent say they installed cameras outside of their home, while 13 per cent installed an alarm system. Six per cent say they use a GPS tracker, while another six per cent say they use a steering wheel lock, immobilizer or on-board diagnostic port lock.  
Only four per cent say they put their car keys in a faraday box. Such a box can be used to prevent a very common form of breaking into a vehicle — boosting the signal from the key’s location to gain entry to the vehicle. A faraday box is basically a metal container that absorbs the electrons being sent out by your car key (if you have a keyless entry remote), which stops thieves from being able to clone the signal to start your car. 
Most Canadians who were surveyed said they park their car in their driveway. Another 25 per cent say they park in a closed garage, while eight per cent say they park in a designated space for their building. Finally, another eight per cent say they park their car on the street.  
Most insurers recommend taking steps to secure your vehicle to limit the chance of theft. This includes parking in well-lit locations, putting your car into a garage overnight if possible, using anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks and faraday boxes, and keeping valuables out of plain site.  
BNN Bloomberg has teamed up with RATESDOTCA to take the pulse of Canadians every month on key pocketbook issues as we strive to better understand how households are navigating COVID-19. This is the latest instalment in monthly special coverage.