There were 1,552 stolen vehicles reported to police in 2018

The number of vehicle thefts in Hamilton is up, according to police. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

Vehicle thefts in Hamilton are on the rise, according to new data just released by Hamilton police.

There were 1,552 stolen vehicles reported to police in 2018, compared to 1,453 the year before.

Trucks are the most commonly stolen vehicle in Hamilton, police say, with the 2001-2007 GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado leading the way. There were 1,022 trucks stolen in the city last year, police say, compared to 486 cars and 45 motorcycles.

“It’s important to remember that a car thief can steal your car in less than 30 seconds – without a key,” Hamilton police said in a statement. “While no set of security measures are 100 percent effective, they can help reduce the risk of vehicle theft. Here’s a list of helpful tips to help keep your vehicle safe.”

Police say vehicles end up getting stolen for a variety of reasons like joyriding, stripping parts, robberies, home invasions or “vehicle cloning,” where a new VIN number is created for a stolen vehicle and then it’s resold to an unsuspecting victim.

Hamilton police offer these tips to keep vehicles safe:

  • Always lock your vehicle and close your windows.
  • Don’t leave the original vehicle ownership, insurance or your driver’s licence in your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit, well attended areas whenever possible.
  • Don’t hide spare vehicle keys in the vehicle or on the vehicle’s exterior. Thieves know where to find them.
  • Remove GPS, cell phone and other electronic accessories from view when leaving your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle running.
  • Lock all valuables in your trunk, out of sight. If you can’t, take your valuables with you.
  • When parking, turn your wheels and set your parking brake to make towing your vehicle more difficult.
  • Permanently etch the Vehicle Identification Number onto the windows of your car.
  • Utilize an anti-theft device such as a steering wheel lock, a kill switch, an immobilizer, alarm and/or tracking system.
  • Use your garage for parking your vehicle.

Source: CBC News