Romanov Report 44 - July 20, 2006
Here's a video of a guy on crystal meth who stole a decoy car that police use to catch car thieves. It shows him shooting his gun out the window 14 times. Luckily, the gun was jammed. (What's your bet the gun was stolen, too?)
He also breaks into three other cars, smashes into three more, and yells "Oncoming" at the top of his lungs whenever he approaches stop signs or red lights. When he realizes he's in a "bait car", he ditches it and steals another car that has a steering wheel lock on it for "protection". (Swear word warning!)
- - Auto theft increased by 91% since 1988.
- - 170,000 vehicles were stolen in Canada last year.
- - That's one every 3 minutes.
- - Many of these thefts occur in parking lots.
Stolen vehicles that are shipped out of Montreal or Toronto may first arrive in the United States and from there travel to Europe, South America or East Africa. Stolen vehicles that are shipped out of the port of Halifax are likely to arrive eventually in Eastern Europe. Stolen vehicles moved through the port of Vancouver often end up in Asia. So you can begin your search there.
Here are some ways to prevent your car from being stolen, or how to recover it:
Common Sense: This is the hardest to cover off, i.e. lock your doors. A friend of mine, who has a law degree, left his car running in a parking lot. It was stolen. What a surprise.
Visual or Audio Deterrent: Be careful, most thieves know how to quickly disable these devices. Plus, the "warning sticker" tells them what to look for.
Immobilizers: Immobilizers have three cutoff points:ignition, fuel, and starter motor. 30% of the time, thieves have been able to circumvent these devices.
Vehicle Recovery: Other than reporting the theft to the police, I learned about a tracking system called the "Boomerang" which is a proactive approach you can take.
Here are some highlights:
- - It sends out a signal that allows your car to be tracked to its exact location within an hour, across North America.
- - It doesn't require a direct line of sight and connects with a nation-wide cellular network.(GPS satellite signal systems need a visible antenna, which can be snapped off by thieves).
- - Boomerang has its own tracking team which works in coordination with the police.Here's a case where they tracked a stolen car to an illegal drug lab.
- - Best of all, some insurance companies offer discounts for Boomerang-equipped vehicles, saving you money.
Here's a peek at the newest, cutting-edge technology used to trap car thieves, click here.
If you wish to contact Boomerang, you can call them at 1-877-777-8722.
Parking Lot Accidents
There's a lot of confusion about what to do if you're involved in a parking lot accident. Here's one person's question about a parking lot incident:
"I was involved in a collision in a parking lot.
- If we go through insurance, does her insurance cover her damage and mine cover my damage?
- If I decide to pay out-of-pocket and she goes through insurance, does my insurance company find out?
- She believes that I was at fault.If I pay, do I need to cover car rental if she does not have it provided in her coverage?
- I have never had a claim and have no tickets, but I understand that I would be better to pay for this myself than go through insurance. The damage is about $2,000 between the two vehicles. Click here for the answers...
When Is A Parking Lot Accident Your Fault?
Trying to figure out who's at-fault in a parking lot accident is tricky.Here are some basic rules:
First, some helpful definitions:
- A "thoroughfare" in a parking lot is a lane which exits or enters onto a road or highway.
- A "feeder lane" is any other lane in a parking lot other than a "thoroughfare".
Rule 1: The driver traveling in the "thoroughfare" has the right of way over the driver in a "feeder lane". The driver in the feeder lane is considered "at-fault" if he hits a driver who is in the thoroughfare.
Rule 2: The driver leaving a parking space does not have the right of way over any other moving vehicle and will be "at-fault" if there's a collision.
Rule 3: The driver of a moving vehicle is "at-fault" if they collide with a legally parked vehicle.
Rule 4: If a collision occurs in which a driver ignores instructions from a police officer, they will be "at-fault". Or if they disregard a "do not enter" or "no passing or turning" sign, or if the driver is backing up or making a U-turn.
Rule 5: The accident causing drivers the most confusion is the collision involving the car door.If a driver or passenger is opening a door, or leaves a car door open, the driver of that vehicle is "at-fault" for the collision. If the driver has properly parked their car and has opened their car door to get out, and another driver hits their car, that driver is "at-fault".
Fault Determination Rules: Insurance companies use these rules to determine fault. To read the exact rules set out for parking lot accidents, click here and scroll to the bottom.
NOTE: It is also important to remember that if the stories of the drivers differ and the actual events cannot be determined, then each driver will end up sharing the fault.So get the facts straight and your witnesses' statements in order. Being partially at-fault holds the same weight as being completely at-fault when it comes to your insurance rate, and your rate will increase accordingly.
Answers to the above question:
Q1. If we go through insurance, does her insurance cover her damage and mine cover my damage?
A. Your own insurance pays for the damages to your vehicle, subject to your coverage and deductible. And her insurance company pays for her damages.
Q2. If I decide to pay out-of-pocket and she goes through insurance, does my insurance company find out?
A. If either driver claims under their insurance, both insurance companies will know of the accident.This is because the insurance company accepting the claim must confirm with the other insurance company that the policy is actually in force.
Q3. She believes that I was at fault. If I pay, do I need to cover car rental if she does not have it provided in her coverage?
A. Her insurance company would pay for a rental car if she is not at-fault. If she believes that you're at-fault and you don't want her to report it to her insurance company, then you should pay for her car rental.
Q4. I have never had a claim and have no tickets, but I understand that I would be better to pay for this myself than go through insurance. The damage is about $2,000 between the two vehicles.
A. Here's what you need to know when deciding whether to report your accident to your insurance company.
1. Insurance companies want to know about every accident, regardless of the amount of damage, as they base their rates on risk, and your rate will increase if you are considered to be even partially at-fault.
There are two insurance companies that I know of which will allow you to report an accident, and if you cover the cost yourself, your rate will not increase. They are Dominion of Canada and The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company.
2. In practice, these types of accidents are rarely reported, for fear of skyrocketing insurance rates. The risk is if the insurance company finds out about it, they may initiate a policy cancellation.
3. If you choose not to report the accident, and before you pay for the damages, you need to be absolutely certain that the other driver is not going to report this to their insurance company. If they do, your insurance company will find out about it, and your rate will increase even though you've paid for the claim. And you won't get your money back.
To avoid parking lot accidents, park in a less congested area and take a few extra minutes to walk to your destination.
Or you can always opt for a smaller vehicle. Here's a list of the top alternatives to those bulky, gas-guzzling vehicles that will give you all the space of a minivan; click here.
Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles
Here are the top 10 most stolen vehicles. Common sense might dictate that you invest in anti-theft tracking device:
- 2000 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
- 1999 Honda Civic SiR 2-door
- 1996 4 wheel drive Chevrolet/GMC Blazer/Jimmy S Series 2-door
- 1994 Honda Civic Si Hatchback 2-door
- 1993 Volkswagen Corrado 2-door
- 1995 Honda Civic Si Hatchback 2-door
- 1992 Chrysler/Dodge Caravan and Voyager
- 2002 All Wheel Drive Subaru Impreza WRX, 4-door
- 1999 Volkswagen Golf GTI Hatchback 2-door
- 1993 Honda Civic Si Hatchback 2-door