Cars Tips

Here’s advice from the experts on how to prevent vehicle break-ins

CBC reporter Sudha Krishnan was reprimanded by George Iny from the Automobile Protection Association for leaving so many valuables on her car. (CBC)

Montreal has its hot spots for vehicle break-ins, but they can happen anywhere, and there are clear ways to curb it, according to the experts and those who’ve had their cars vandalized.

Lawyer Jean-François Raymond said he returned to his car, parked at Peel and Ste-Catherine streets in downtown Montreal a few years ago, to find the rear window smashed and what he’d left in the back seat, gone.

Raymond’s advice to drivers: don’t leave anything in your vehicle.

Jean-Francois Raymond parked his car in downtown Montreal a few years ago and had his window broken and items stolen from the seat. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC )

George Iny from the Automobile Protection Association agrees. He said sunglasses, a purse, electronics, or anything that looks like it’s holding something valuable, such as a computer, could entice a thief.

“The core area of the city has a lot of street life, and some people who are in difficulty,” Iny said. “For them, this is an opportunity to make a few bucks.”

Data compiled by CBC Montreal shows that downtown Montreal and Old Montreal are hot spots for car break-ins.

Other areas that are targeted for break-ins include Galeries des Sources in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, the shopping malls around Highway 40 and Lacordaire Boulevard in St-Léonard and the Fairview mall in Pointe-Claire.

The Fairview shopping centre parking lot is also a prime target for vehicle theft.

Iny recommends people never leave the keys in the car, even for just a moment, like at a gas station.

“If someone is staking the place out, the car could disappear. That’s how it happens,” Iny said.

That’s also one of the Canadian Automobile Association’s tips for preventing car theft.

The CAA recommends having parts of the car engraved and installing a tracking system or starter kill, and to park in well lit areas.

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