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Car theft: Tip sheet

With nearly 74,000 cars stolen in Canada in 2014, police say there’s no guaranteed way to stop someone who wants to steal your vehicle. But there are some ways to make it harder for them.

To protect against electronic theft, there are special locks on the market that can seal off the access point to a car’s onboard internal computer system (OBD). They’re known as OBD port locks, and they fit into an outlet under your dashboard.

If you’re worried about electronic devices that can unlock your car doors, you could simply choose to lock your car the old-fashioned way, using a key or the button inside the door. This helps prevent a thief from stealing the radio signal sent out when you click the button on your key fob.

Some tried and true anti-theft methods can encourage even high-tech thieves to stay away. Here are some old-school tips that still work:

  • Park your car in a garage, or park a more expensive car behind an older one
  • Make your driveway less attractive for theft with security cameras and good lighting
  • Use a steering-wheel lock
  • Don’t leave your car running when you aren’t inside

And just in case a thief does manage to get in your vehicle, be sure not to store an extra set of keys or any important documents inside.