FOB Problems and Other Auto Theft Trends 2020-21

by | Dec 16, 2020 | Auto Insurance | 0 comments

Auto Theft Trends 2020-21

The year is winding down which means it’s time to look at the auto theft trends of 2020. In doing so BC residents gain an understanding of what to watch out for as they carry through into the annum ahead. While auto theft overall is down with fewer vehicles being parked in pandemic-shuttered commercial districts there are certain types of auto theft on the rise. Let’s review.

3 Motor Vehicle Theft Trends to Watch Out for in 2021

I. Top 10 Stolen Vehicles

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has released its list of the Top 10 Stolen Vehicles in 2020. If you count your vehicle within the following list you’ll want to think twice about where, when, and how you park:

Top Stolen Vehicles 2020

You might think that these high-profile vehicles would be relatively easy for local law enforcement to recover. This is not the case, as a significant number of them are being targeted by organized crime groups and shipped overseas where they bring in top dollar on the blackmarket. Once the vehicles get loaded on to those shipping containers they are essentially gone.

II. Compromised FOBs

There’s a common theme found when referencing the Top 10 Stolen Vehicles list above. It’s not the outright newness of the vehicles that makes them a hot target, but the fact that they are at the forefront of the proliferation of electronic technology. The biggest issue? Keyless entry remotes, also known as FOBs.

Electronic motor vehicle theft is on the rise thanks to the feature that is supposed to make our driving experience more convenient. As auto technology advances, so does auto theft technology. Modernized thieves are using wireless transmitter devices to capture the signal between a given FOB and its vehicle. The thief then uses that digital footprint to unlock and steal the automobile.

Proximity is the key to the compromise of keyless entry. But most thieves aren’t walking around with transmitters trying to time their approach for when you park and leave the space. Instead they are capitalizing on those who park and leave their FOBs unprotected and in close proximity to the vehicle. This nearness creates a digital bridge between the keyless device and its chariot. Thieves armed with transmitters can simply lasso the signal, open the door, and head off on their merry way with your motor vehicle!

What can be done to prevent the FOB signal from being intercepted?

For one, don’t leave your keyless entry device by the door (which is closest to where you parked) of your home or workplace. CTV reports that newer vehicles equipped with keyless FOBs are being targeted and stolen from driveways for this very reason. The following tips will help keep your FOB signal from being compromised:

  • Don’t leave keyless FOBs near doors, windows, or walls located close to where you park.
  • Place your FOB in a protective signal-blocking pouch or receptacle.
  • Park in a garage or protected carport.
  • Install a secondary auto alarm system that cannot be subverted by your vehicle manufacturer provided FOB.
  • Fasten a steering wheel club for when you’re parked overnight or for extended periods.

Lastly, add a tracking device to your vehicle. While you may not be able to keep tenacious thieves from making away with your automobile, you can at least take proactive steps to retrieving it, if they do.

III. Theft From Automobile (TFA) Most Common Property Crime

Theft from Automobile (TFA) incidences decreased by 37% (year over year) but again, this is due to fewer people driving during the early months of the pandemic. That said, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) reports that TFA is the most reported offense leading into the final quarter of 2020. It comprises nearly 30% of all property crime incidents, making it the largest driver in the category. Follow these five steps to protect your vehicle from break-ins and theft of its parts and contents.


Add another layer of protection to prevent motor vehicle thieves from ruining your year. Have an independent broker review your automobile insurance policy to ensure that you have the most comprehensive coverage possible. Contact Park Insurance today.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. You can buy/renew your ICBC auto insurance from home!

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