What Happens to Stolen Cars?

Word Count: 293 approx

Type: Blog Post (Not-for-Profit Industry)


Thirty seconds.

That’s all the time a professional car thief needs to steal your vehicle—without the key.

Auto theft costs Canadians more than $1 billion every year. About half of all stolen vehicles are used to commit another crime or are driven for simple purposes of transportation—dubbed ‘destination theft’ by amateurs.  In the other half of cases, vehicles are stolen by professional thieves and often end up in a chop shop or a shipping container heading overseas.

According to the IBC, about 50% of stolen vehicles end up in “chop shops,” dismantled into parts, and sold off separately—often to legitimate businesses unaware the parts are stolen. This is a big business that accounts for millions of dollars a year in profits for criminals.

Tens of thousands of cars are stolen each year for export to other countries where they can be sold for many times their original market value.  Occasionally these vehicles are recovered at Canadian ports before they’ve made the trip.  The IBC is actively working on having CBSA take a more active role in preventing these vehicles from leaving Canada.

[redacted] member dealers guarantee vehicles they sell aren’t stolen and don’t have any liens against them.

What should you do if your vehicle is stolen?

  1.  Call the police. Give them the make; model, year, and plate as this well help them to look up the registration for the vehicle identification number.
  2.  Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
  3.  If you left keys or your wallet in the car, report any credit or debit cards to your bank to have them cancelled and replaced, and change the locks on your house if your house keys were on the key ring.