`Whacky idea’ by Canadian Police constable on ‘car thefts’ makes the world hysterical with laughter

Rashmi Talwar

TORONTO (CANADA) 29th March 2024———————-

Vehicle theft has become the biggest headache for the Canadian Police. Car thefts have caused billions for Canada in insurance money. However, a Police Service Constable, rattled by the increasing number of vehicle thefts came up with a bizarre idea. The idea purportedly got floated during a meeting discussing safety and security. Canadian Police Constable Marco Ricciardi of Toronto Police Service, at a Community Safety meeting in Etobicoke, Greater Toronto came up with a weird solution of “leaving the car keys out at the ‘Front Door’ to avoid being attacked in the home, by a car thief during a break-in”. In his own words, Ricciardi says- “To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your ‘fobs’ or Electronic Keys, on your front door.  They break into your homes to steal your car, they don’t want anything else! A lot of them have guns and they are not toy guns, they are loaded!” he said with a straight face to an audience comprising of the best of men and women in Canadian policing.

Places in Canada like Alberta, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto are bustling with immigrant populations from countries all over the world, majorly from India in recent years particularly Punjabi from North India and the Gujarati community. The rate of car thefts is alarming in a developed country like Canada. According to CFLA (Canadian Finance and Leasing Association), a vehicle is lifted every 40 minutes. In the USA, a vehicle is stolen every 36 seconds according to the National Geographic documentary –“Smuggling Stolen Cars”. The investigative documentary names  New Jersey in the USA as the stolen car capital of the world, In India the figure of car theft is one car every 12 minutes, mostly in major cities like Delhi, Bombay, Chennai, and Kolkatta.

Before the abrogation of Article 370 in the year 2019, the State of Jammu & Kashmir purportedly was considered the safest haven for stolen vehicles in North India. Stolen vehicles brought to J&K were resold and often used for terrorist activities in the turmoil-ridden Indian state, bordering Pakistan. The vehicles are given tampering, alterations, and erased of all markings before selling them in the bustling second-hand car markets and dealers.  In contrast, cars stolen in Canada undergo no major alternation in stolen Canadian cars, than to disconnect GPS, unhinge the Bluetooth, etc. They bring the stolen vehicle to the nearest port to be lifted into waiting containers and transported to port cities on other continents.

However a developed country like Canada that is technologically advanced, where laws are extremely stringent and implemented to a high degree, it seems that Canadian police surrendered on policing and shifted the onus of safety and security onto car owners, showning itself to be helpless, says a resident of Toronto , after the video of Ricciardi became viral world over. “It’s policing that needs to be hauled up and the fear of the law has to be effective!”  he added. Canadians are asking if there is a car theft epidemic in Canada. Car thefts have undoubtedly escalated to “national crisis” levels, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an industry group, which said insurers paid a record 1.2 billion Canadian dollars, or about USD 890 million, in theft claims in 2022. For victims, it’s a dizzying, and traumatizing, experience to lose their vehicle/car.

Reactions on multiple fronts

  • Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto told the CBC News TV channel  – The solution to car theft can be curbed by ‘Killing the source’  which meant tightening the reins and scanning sea-bound containers, especially in Montreal Port of Canada by spot random checking.
  • Vancouver Sun wrote about High-tech car theft where crooks were using sophisticated technology to program their key fobs, often in just minutes. It added that “Thieves break into a vehicle; they plug into the diagnostics port under the dash and download information that lets them program a key fob or the electronic key- to operate the vehicle.
  • Bryan Gast Equite Association Ontario Canada wrote on his ‘X” handle that stolen vehicles were being used as getaway vehicles for crime and funding terrorism and drugs in the country
  • Sky News Australian  TV on its program “The Outsiders” the three panelists made much fun of Ricciardi and jutted in – “Put all the jewelry on the porch outside- why even that leave your front door open! The message and its optics are not correct – it kind of gives the impression, hey! We have put our hands up! And now make it easy for thieves to take your car! Inserted one of the panelists.


Hilarious bits fly on social media after Marco Ricciardi’s ‘bizarre’ suggestion

According to the Canadian constable-“The thief merely attempts a break into a house, to get his hands on the car- keys!” This suggestion tickled the funny bone not only in Toronto but the entire world. In the time the video of constable Ricciardi became viral, spoofs mimics, and GIFs had a field day on every social networking site evoking gurgling laughter for humanity, in the somewhat tensed universe what with booming guns in Ukraine and Russia and raging bombings in Israel Hamas Palestine conflict.

  • Promptly after the video went viral one resident announced on a video on ‘X’ formerly Twitter, that have stuck a note on his car for the potential thief that the car keys are in the ignition and the thief can safely drive away the car and cause no harm to the owner.
  • One made a video spoof of adding two teacups, some cookies, and a sugar bowl with silver spoons along with the key, so if the thief felt like, he could have a tea party with his partner along with getting a newly stolen car.
  • A farmer made a video putting two of his chickens in a cage along with car keys as a takeaway gift for car thieves.
  • Toronto Sun reported: Cops tell the public, to surrender, leave car keys at door
  • A victim of car theft of three of his cars, made an elaborate video showing how he has learned a lesson at the suggestion of the Toronto police department especially by Marco Ricciardi, and will now prevent being attacked in case of 4th or 5th theft of his cars. In the video he shows a ‘Welcome Sign’ along with a selection of two car keys for the car robbers to choose from, a bowl of snacks, and cookies, some jelly beans and gummies, some grab-and-go drinks, and assures that everything is allergy-free, so the thief can have a hearty meal and drive away in luxury!” and adds -“ I will make sure that the front entrance is super clean so that the thief may not slip and trip and his whole operation is successful”. In the end thanking the Toronto chief for this ‘brilliant’ suggestion!”

Vehicles are stolen and are immediately shipped to various destinations around the world where these cars land up using Canadian number plates

Nearly 3000 vehicles were stolen in Ontario province in the past seven weeks out of which only 157 have been found. High-end vehicles are stolen, found in sea cans, to port cities, the money funding other crimes.



Methods to prevent

  1. Devices steering lock club is a functional deterrent
  2. Car manufacturers should produce Foolproof computer assisted fob to prevent hacking
  3. Put car-fob or electronic key using a Faraday pouch, and close it firmly, it prevents radio frequency from emitting
  4. Steering wheel club lock another known barrier for car theft.
  5. Aftermarket immobilizer is also effective
  6. Onboard diagnostic port lock that prevents plugging in and reprogramming
  7. Sensor lights in the driveway for odd hours
  8. Low-fittedhome cameras 10-12 feet best for optimum video quality


Toyota, Honda, Lexus, Acura, Land Rover, SUV, are the preferred cars to steal in Canada

In India it is Maruti Swift, Wagon R, Honda City, i10, Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Grand, and Maruti Dzire are high on the list of stolen cars




4 Ways to track a stolen car:

  • How to Locate a Stolen Car by License Plate Number

When a car is reported as stolen, the police will request the vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number, which is then flagged to local patrol cars and surveillance cameras on the entry-exit route or nakas.

  • How to locate the car using a pre-installed GPS tracker?

Tracking systems are available on a monthly subscription. To install a tracker, it needs to be fitted to the car and synced to a mobile device. The car’s movements speed, and whereabouts are tracked and recorded for a set period.

  • How to Track a Stolen Car with Bluetooth

If a car connects to a phone via Bluetooth tracker, try connecting to the car to see if it is in range. Find the location using a pre-installed Bluetooth tracking system.

If it doesn’t connect, Bluetooth may have been disabled.

  • How to Locate a Stolen Car by VIN

If a thief has maintenance work or repairs done legitimately on a stolen car, they will have to provide the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Obtaining the car’s VIN history reveals the activity relating to the thief. This information can be passed on to the police.


Hamilton, Etobicoke, Toronto Vancouver, Quebec, license plates of Canada are common in Ghana as seen in an investigative documentary on CBC TV