Toronto

Toronto couple baffled after their vehicle was stolen for the 3rd time

Somehow, thieves have managed to steal Danny Goulis's vehicle from the driveway of his north Toronto home on three separate occasions.

Danny Goulis has had 2 different vehicles stolen from his north Toronto driveway

Danny Goulis spotted someone stealing his Lexus SUV on this security camera footage. It's the second time the SUV has been stolen this year. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Danny Goulis has come to know his way around an insurance claim.

That's because somehow, thieves have managed to steal his vehicle from the driveway of his north Toronto home on three separate occasions.

He has even had the same SUV stolen twice.

It's a situation that has left Goulis and his wife, Kathleen Moss, baffled and frustrated.

"Obviously they have some sort of way of doing it, some sort of technique," Goulis said.

"To take a car like this with no recourse and it's that easy? I think there's a problem there."

The latest theft happened early Wednesday morning at the couple's home in the Lawrence Park area. Goulis was having his coffee and was going upstairs to get ready for work — and that's when he noticed his SUV was nowhere to be seen.

"I just thought, 'Oh not again.'"

He checked his security tapes, and sure enough, someone could be seen hunched by the side of his 2017 Lexus 570 SUV just after 3 a.m.

Within nine minutes, the thief had managed to get into the car, disable the steering wheel club and drive off, he said.

"He opened the door, no key, no broken window, nothing," Moss said.

Looking for patterns

Goulis says Lexus told him to put his keys in a Faraday box, so he used this tin as a makeshift version. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

This was the second time this vehicle was stolen. The exact same thing happened in mid-April. Police eventually found it in a shipping crate in Montreal about a month later.

Steve Kee, spokesperson for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, told CBC News vehicles can be stolen for anything from joyrides, to shipped out of country and chopped up for parts.

"Thieves are going to look for patterns. They're going to look for the availability to let them to do that," he said.

"It's unfortunate that someone would have a vehicle stolen twice. That's rare, and it's terrible for these people to have to go through that."

In an email earlier this year, Toronto police said they believed Goulis was the victim of an electronic car theft — specifically, a relay theft.

CBC Toronto reported on the new electronic theft methods late last year, describing how thieves can use high-tech gadgets to relay fob signals  — even from inside your home  — to a device outside, or override a vehicle's on-board diagnostic system to steal it without ever having access to the keys.

Danny Goulis is speaking out after thieves stole his Lexus for the second time. 2:08

Toronto police said last year that investigators had seen a 90 per cent jump in the electronic theft of luxury vehicles across the city from December 2017 to 2018.

In 53 Division, where Goulis is located, thefts were up 240 per cent.

An 'industry-wide issue'

Const. Caroline de Kloet wasn't able to provide updated statistics Thursday, but said it's something 53 Division is still dealing with, as there tend to be higher-end cars in the area.

That, coupled with a more traditional car theft in 2013 where thieves broke into Goulis's home, swiped the keys and drove off with another car, has him very frustrated.

Goulis and Moss now have security cameras installed outside their home. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Goulis told CBC News that he's convinced there is an issue with Lexus's fob systems.

"They're so organized. Obviously they have some way of getting into the car," he said.

Toyota spokesperson Michael Bouliane, which also owns Lexus, told CBC News in an email that auto theft is an "industry-wide issue" and certain vehicles are in higher demand than others.

"Our industry has been working closely with the Canadian insurance industry and police authorities across Canada to assist with investigations related to vehicle theft," Bouliane said.

Goulis said after his last theft, Lexus told him to use a Faraday shield, which is an enclosure used to block electronic signals. He said he was also told to move his keys away from the front door.

In response, he moved his keys toward the back of the house and away from his vehicle, and used a Christmas cookie tin as a makeshift Faraday box.

Clearly, that didn't do the trick. Now, he and his wife are constantly feeling a little wary, he said.

"You really feel like you're worrying about everything all the time here now."

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

Reporter

Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Toronto home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.

With files from Greg Ross and Taylor Simmons

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