Toronto police are warning the public aware of an increase in vehicle thefts in 53 Division which is in the central section of the city.

Over the past month, neighbourhoods have experienced a rise in high-end vehicle thefts from residential areas. The primary targets for the thieves include Lexus and Toyota SUVs, as well as Land Rovers, said police.

The suspects are using various methods to reprogram or rekey the vehicle and then driving off from the area with little to no damage caused. The thefts are not just occurring overnight but also in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Police say owners can take the following steps to help protect their vehicles:

– Park your vehicle inside or park a secondary car behind the target vehicle
– Use steering wheel immobilizing devices
– Keep car keys away from the front door and inside a closed metal container or Faraday box
– Cover the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the driver’s side dash with a piece of paper
– Purchase locks for On Board Diagnostics (OBD) ports of the vehicles
– Consider investment in aftermarket GPS or immobilization devices (ask dealerships for more information)

If anyone sees anything suspicious, especially if people are approaching parked vehicles including the above mentioned models, they should report it to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on the Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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