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Does your vehicle have push-button start? It might be targeted!

'Four F-150s and a Dodge Ram Rebel were all stolen and the common link is they are all push-button start,' says Barrie police official

The rise in thefts is evident in Barrie as five vehicles were stolen on Sunday and Monday with all of them having a common trait. 

City police are looking into a string of pick-up truck thefts that occurred from Sunday evening into Monday morning. 

The trucks, all of which are 2019 and 2020 models, were stolen from homes in the northwest end of the city with one taken from the eastern part of Barrie.

Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday that the calls started coming in around 5 a.m., when owners were waking up, and by 8:19 a.m. there were five taken altogether.

“Four F-150s and a Dodge Ram Rebel were all stolen and the common link is they are all push-button start,” Leon said Wednesday. “We’ve gone from an issue where we were telling people to not leave their keys by the front door where the signal from it can be obtained by thieves, to now where someone can set up at the end of your driveway and somehow get into the vehicle's onboard computer.”

Leon said it's likely that those responsible for the thefts would have been out in these areas looking for the vehicles they were after.

“We used to receive calls for stolen vehicles that we would eventually find abandoned somewhere by someone who was looking to get from one point to another," he said. "Now thieves have a list of vehicles they need to take for profit and that is what they’re looking for."

Many high-end vehicles are stolen to be shipped overseas for money, Leon said.

While Leon said a steering wheel locking device may be your best bet against these crimes, it is hard to currently find them.

“Demand for these items is high, so many places are sold out,” said Leon. “But it is recommended because anything that makes it even a little more complicated for a thief to steal your vehicle is a good thing. They want to get in and get out, it's best to make it not worth their time.”

Leon also suggested that parking them in your garage, if you have one, is a good idea as is blocking them with a second vehicle that is not as sought after.