In November 2016, Toronto resident Kevin Donovan lost control of his brand new BMW 320S in Montreal after a thief stole it from his driveway.
A few months later, Donovan received a text from his parents, saying their house keys to their condominium located near where he lived in Toronto, were missing. He bought a key chain to prevent the same thing from happening again.
In February 2018, Donovan’s car was stolen again from his Toronto driveway.
“Once again, I contacted the dealer and they discovered that my rental authorization info was incomplete when I rented it,” he said.
“I was told I could rent the car for a bit, and then they could contact my bank and cancel the vehicle registration.”
At the time, Donovan was planning to move to Halifax with his wife and two children. So he decided to transfer his business and personal credit cards to Halifax (I think Halifax Bank International is actually called the Halifax Bank, there’s a history here and there), so they’d be easier to locate in case of theft.
I’m pretty sure someone was planning to sell Donovan’s BMW in Nova Scotia.
So why was his car stolen again? Because this time someone was eyeing it as a potential spare tire in Halifax.
Thankfully, Donovan’s car was parked with the meters for hours while waiting for him to call the Halifax police.
“My daughter called to let me know that her dad’s car was gone from the driveway. I informed the police immediately, and they were very polite about the matter,” he wrote.
The story goes that the thief had placed the car into a parking space with the meters in reverse while it was parked with the meters up and running. He then accelerated, stuck it back into reverse, and loaded it up with baggage for transport to Halifax.
I’m pretty sure someone was planning to sell Donovan’s BMW in Nova Scotia, at which point he or she would have been tracked back to the port by security, causing them to shut down the facility and have police patrol the perimeter to make sure nothing happened.
Donovan had the immobilizer removed, though. And he left it unlocked for one or two more days, perhaps thinking that the thieves would find it again as they stowed everything out of the reach of security.
Donovan’s mobile number was then posted to Crime Stoppers, and he’s still trying to figure out how the thieves could find him, months after he thought he had put all the pieces together to prevent it from happening again.
The same thing can happen to you, of course, if you don’t store your information in the right place. It’s a bad idea to leave your card out with the meter. Or to leave your bank account accessible at a car. Or to leave your social security card lying around. Here’s a couple of tips about that from The Credit CARD Act of 2009.
Whatever you do, don’t leave anything valuable in plain sight. A thief can use the GPS in your phone to track what you are doing, your car GPS to track you while it’s parked, or even your information on the social security card to track you at work.
Here’s some more security tips from Frank LoMonte, a cyber security expert and master of security psychology.
Well, it wasn’t the privacy thing that set him off when he was being followed to the gas station. It was the threat to the car. His car.
“The fact that I had a credit card with him in the car, a key card and that I was at the gas station when he pulled up to get gas makes the safety of my car a higher priority,” he wrote.
Given how this turns out, Donovan did the right thing. But who can tell? I’ve never walked around with a key with all the security enabled, for the dumb ass reason that I don’t trust people to walk around behind me with a car.
Well, I’ve been on the road long enough to know that stealing a car is not cool, it’s not common, and if you’re a thief and the owner of a car sees you being