Six P.E.I. police officers and a member of the motor vehicles branch received special training last week to combat auto theft, including which models are most likely to be stolen.

Top 10 car thief targets in 2012

2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR

1999 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR 

2006 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER SS 4DR 4WD 

2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR AWD

2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

2002 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD

2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

1999 ACURA INTEGRA 2DR

Insurance Bureau of Canada investigator Guy Ouellette helped start the Provincial Auto Theft Protection Network three years ago. He offers tips on how to identify vehicles that may be stolen, including detecting forged documents or cars registered under a false Vehicle Identification Number.

"In my time with the RCMP I never received any training in vehicle identification, and how many stolen vehicles did I come upon and not knowing let them go with them?" said Ouellette.

"I always tell the trainees you have a bad feeling about something, you're checking a car, you don't find any open liquors, you don't find firearms, you don't find drugs, you don't find stolen goods, and they're still laughing in your face and you wonder why. Obviously, it might have been a stolen vehicle and I had no clue about it."

Ouellette workshop included examples of ways criminals have adjusted documents and vehicle identification numbers in the past.

"Get to know the secondary numbers, the primary numbers, and if they have [been] tampered with, you probably can have a good idea that it's the case, and then you can further your investigation with the assistance of expert in the vehicle identification field," he said.

Last year, 53 cars were stolen on the Island outside the capital, according to RCMP.   

Ouellette suggests anyone buying a second-hand vehicle on-line check the Vehicle Identification Number first. He says anyone can enter that number in the police CPIC website to see any potential problems.

For mobile device users: How careful are you about keeping your car from being stolen?