Brantford Retains Top Spot as Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Theft Capital

By Lesley Green
A young man returns to his parking spot only to find that his vehicle is gone.
  • For the last five years Brantford has been Ontario’s capital for motor vehicle theft.
  • Windsor, London, and Hamilton also rank high for thefts in the province.
  • Toronto is firmly in the middle of the pack for theft rates.

15 Ontario cities ranked based on police-reported motor vehicle thefts.

Lock it up, drivers in Brantford, Windsor, London, and Hamilton, or risk losing your vehicle as your four cities top the list for motor vehicle theft.

Chances are if you live in one of these four cities, you know all of this already. According to data available through Statistics Canada, these four cities have been the provincial hotspots for motor vehicle theft for the last five years. The truth is it could even be longer. We stopped looking at the theft numbers after five years because there was a trend established.

In Brantford, 379 vehicles are stolen per 100,000 people; in Windsor, it is 284; in London, it is 268, while in Hamilton, it’s 234, according to the most recent information (2019) regarding theft of vehicles.

The good news is these numbers are mostly down from the previous year. In 2018, Brantford saw 546 vehicles stolen per 100,000 people. In Windsor, it was 298; in London, it was 302; and in Hamilton, it was 288.

The trend for these cities is surprising. You’re more likely to have your vehicle stolen in these areas than in the province’s largest city, Toronto, which didn’t even crack the top five.

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Theft rates across the province

Rank City* Rate per 100,000
1. Brantford 379
2. Windsor 284
3. London 268
4. Hamilton 234
5. Thunder Bay 224
6. St. Catharines 179
7. Toronto 166
8. Sudbury 153
9. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 142
10. Guelph 132
11. Kingston 116
12. Ottawa 107
13. Barrie 98
14. Belleville 72
15. Peterborough 61

Most stolen vehicles in Ontario

Each year the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) releases a list of the most stolen vehicles. In Ontario, according to the list, high-end SUVs are the vehicle of choice among criminals. IBC’s list for Ontario highlights which models are lifted most often:

  1. 2017 Lexus RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD
  2. 2018 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD
  3. 2018 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
  4. 2018 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD
  5. 2019 Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD
  6. 2016 Lexus RX350/RX450h 4DR AWD
  7. 2017 Toyota Highlander 4DR 4WD
  8. 2017 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
  9. 2019 Honda CR-V 4DR AWD
  10. 2018 Honda Accord 4DR

If you live in Brantford and drive a Lexus RX350, you may be paying more for your auto insurance, thanks to your chosen ride.

How to theft-proof your vehicle

The IBC says on average, a car is stolen in Canada every six minutes, and, for some professionals, it can take as little as 30 seconds to happen. There are ways you can minimize the risk of it happening to you:

  • Don’t leave your vehicle’s key fob near the entryway to your home. Thieves are tech-savvy and can use wireless transmitters to intercept your fob’s signal to gain entry to your vehicle.
  • Don’t entice thieves by keeping valuables (money, electronics, golf clubs, parcels) stored in your vehicle in plain sight.
  • Park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit area. If possible, try to avoid parking in the same spot day in and day out. Routine is a thief’s friend.
  • Close and lock windows, doors, and sunroofs anytime you leave the car.
  • Don't keep the engine running when the vehicle is unattended, even if it’s just for a minute.

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* Rates of motor vehicle theft are grouped together based on census metropolitan areas.