Toronto Police: Just Let the Thieves Steal Your Car

"To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your [key] fobs at your front door," said one constable.
Getty Images

The city of Toronto has a car theft problem, and it doesn’t sound like police have much of a clue as to how to combat it. In a recent safety meeting, one officer even gave advice that basically boiled down to: If thieves come knocking to steal your car, just let ’em have it.

As reported by blogTO, Toronto Police Service Constable Marco Ricciardi said, “To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your [key] fobs at your front door because they’re breaking into your home to steal your car. They don’t want anything else.”

On the one hand, I totally understand the very rational, self-preserving stance of not risking life or injury over what is, at the end of the day, an insured, inanimate object. It is, however, the sort of advice you’d expect from a well-meaning parent or spouse. Hearing it come out of the mouths of the very people whose taxpayer-funded, gun-toting job it is to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the first place, however, is arguably less OK and frankly kind of crazy.

Spoken or not, though, some Torontonians have evidently taken the advice to heart like one person who—after having their vehicle broken into three times—opted to leave their car unlocked (along with a big, handwritten note indicating this) so that would-be thieves don’t break the window again.

Others, however, have gone to opposite extremes to try and deter thieves. Profiled in a New York Times story on Toronto’s car theft epidemic (the existence of which illustrates just how bad things have gotten), one Honda CR-V owner has installed two alarm systems, a tracking device, four (4) Apple AirTags, keeps the key fob in a signal-jamming Faraday bag, and has two motion-sensitive floodlights pointed at his modest suburban driveway. When parked, there are also parking boot-style wheel locks on every wheel, a steering wheel club, and even a bollard in the driveway to keep it from being driven away. All this just to park your own damn car in front of your own damn house.

Where there’s a problem, though, there are those out there capitalizing on ways to solve it. Vehicle tracking devices are apparently doing real well, with Montreal-based Tag Tracking reportedly doubling sales over the past two years. There are now entire businesses dedicated to installing bollards at the ends of driveways—often small, suburban driveways that, in most other cities, would never have bollards.

Ideally, none of these things would have to exist, but you’ve got to hand it to them for acting to curb a problem instead of sitting idly by—which is more than Toronto Police can say.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach him here: