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Avoiding Car Theft in Montreal: Tips and Tricks

A man in a red hoodie and khakis holding a screwdriver to a white car's door handle, trying to break in.

Unfortunately, car theft is a common crime problem that plagues many cities. Visitors to Montreal may not know the best strategies for protecting their vehicles, making them an easy target for thieves. Below, our guide offers helpful tips and tricks for avoiding car theft in Montreal and other metro areas.

How Car Thieves Identify Targets

Drivers must understand how car thieves identify their targets. They don’t simply pick a car at random—they look for vehicles with certain signs that they’ll be easier to break into and steal or contain valuables worth stealing.

Thieves look for older cars, which are less likely to have modern alarm systems and are easier to break into. They also look at cars without noticeable anti-theft devices and any that may have valuables, such as laptops, jewelry, or other expensive items in plain view.

Tips for Securing Your Car

We can compile some simple but effective tips and tricks for avoiding car theft in Montreal and similar cities now that we know what thieves look for.

Park Wisely

Choosing where to park is the first step to protect your vehicle. Parking choices are slim in most cities, and many drivers just pick whatever they can find instead of being selective. Ideally, a parking garage or secured lot with a guard and security cameras are the best choices.

However, you should choose an area that’s well-lit and sees a fair amount of traffic at night if you don’t want to pay for parking. Avoid dark alleys or streets with minimal traffic as thieves target areas with minimal exposure. Also, parking close to the curb is a good wheel security tip to prevent theft when parking on the street as doing so stops wheel thieves from using a jack to raise your car.

Install Anti-Theft Devices

Next, you’ll want to secure your vehicle with anti-theft devices. Aftermarket anti-theft devices are better deterrents and add another level of security to your vehicle, even if your car has an alarm. Some anti-theft devices to consider include:

  • Wheel brake lock

  • Steering wheel lock

  • Wheel boot

  • Vehicle immobilizer

Most of these devices secure your car better and act as visible deterrents. Car thieves will avoid cars they see have anti-theft devices.

Don’t Leave Valuables Visible to Outsiders

Lastly, you don’t want to leave your valuables in full view of the windows when you leave your car visible on the street. Thieves are much more likely to target your vehicle than others they may pass if they see something valuable, such as a laptop or even a pricey pair of sunglasses. Put all your valuables underneath a seat, in the glove compartment, or in the trunk so they’re out of view before securing and leaving your car.

We hope our guide helps you have a safe and secure trip the next time you’re in Montreal or another major city. Much of theft prevention is using common sense and following basic safety principles—keep your car parked in well-visible areas, secure it with anti-theft devices, and don’t make your vehicle a valuable target for would-be thieves.


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