WATCH: Own a Lexus or Toyota in York Region?
There's a warning out from York Regional Police to those who drive Toyota or Lexus SUVs.
They say, you're being watched and could potentially be a target.
In the last year alone, there have been more than 80 vehicles of the same brand ripped off in York Region alone.
And that has prompted police to put out some tips on how you can protect yourself from theft.
The way these ones have worked is that the thieves us a screwdriver to pop the lock on the door, and then actually reprogram the vehicle, so their key fab works with it.
"The thieves are basically roaming around our neighbourhoods and shopping for these exact vehicles, reprogramming them, and shipping them off to North Africa." says Constable Andy Pattenden.
He says those models command a high price in that area of the continent, which is why they are being targetted here.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Police have released several tips:
- If possible, park your vehicle in a locked garage, as the majority of the vehicles have been stolen from driveways
- Place a second vehicle behind your Lexus or Toyota SUV in the driveway.This obstacle acts as a physical barrier that will make the thieves continue past your residence and look for an easier target
- Use a steering wheel lock. It will also act as a visible deterrent that can be used on the vehicle overnight making thieves reconsider stealing your vehicle
- Install a lock on the data port. This simple device can be purchased online and blocks access to the computer port where the thieves gain access to reprogram the vehicle's keys.
- Invest in an aftermarket global positioning system (GPS) tracker or have one installed by the dealer. This will not prevent theft, but may assist in recovery of the vehicle and your belongings
- Consider purchasing a quality video surveillance system. Ensure your cameras are properly placed and functioning for day and night time use. Familiarize yourself with the operation of the system so it can be reviewed and accessed immediately