VIDEO: Pickup stolen in 90 seconds from Guelph driveway

Leanne Stalker shares video of her 2022 Ram being stolen from her driveway last week, one of 10 stolen since Nov. 25

Leanne Stalker’s new truck may be heading back to Guelph.

But after her family’s 2022 Ram pickup was stolen from the driveway of their home last week, the sense of security is something she said they’ll never get back.

“There’s just something different about having it stolen right out of your driveway,” she told GuelphToday. “It’s not like parking outside somewhere and having it go missing. We sleep five feet from the driveway. What do you do?”

Last Friday, Guelph police reported at least 10 Ram pickups had been stolen since Nov. 25. One of those trucks was hers.

Wellington County OPP said in the same time frame, officers responded to three such reports.

Security footage from her home showed two suspects walk up to the truck to what Stalker assumes was to scan the VIN number before running away. The two returned about 12 minutes later, and she believes digital key scanning technology was used to get in.

“One of them kind of looked into the house, and the other one (stood) near the truck,” she said. “And in less than 90 seconds, they had the truck open, they were in it and they drove it out of the driveway.”

Another important note, Stalker said, was the theft happened around 5:30 a.m. Just before the initial visit, she said one neighbour was leaving. Her other next-door neighbour left shortly before the two returned to get the truck.

“This was not a time where it was particularly quiet,” she said. “There was people around.”

Stalker said the number of thefts is going up rapidly, so much so, police and media reports can’t keep up.

She’s not wrong. In fact, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said over 87,000 vehicles are stolen nationwide every year, or one vehicle every six minutes.

It adds vehicles are generally taken because, among other things, they’re being packaged and shipped to be sold abroad.

Stalker’s truck, however, was located and recovered in Montreal with at least one person under arrest. It’s on its way back to Guelph, where it will get checked out by the dealership before she gets it back.

Multiple police agencies, and the Insurance Bureau, have released statements with tips. This includes to refrain from leaving a keyless entry fob in a vehicle or unprotected at the front of your home, installing an immobilizing device, parking in well-lit areas or in a garage, locking your vehicle and/or strategically parking other vehicles in a manner to prevent the theft.

She said the tips put forward by authorities don’t seem to be enough, and leaves her wondering what more can be done.

“I have cameras, I have a well-lit area, my vehicles are locked, we don’t leave anything in it and I own two Dobermans, who are guard-trained,” she said.

Stalker said it’s a little unsettling that nobody is doing anything about this issue, and there are people watching her home at any given time.

“On this street, 50 per cent of houses have security cameras. What does that say about where we’re living,” she said, adding she knows it’s not just a Guelph problem.

“It obviously is a hot spot right now, and it’s just added to everything else. Bike theft here is so bad, there’s no point in owning a bicycle, and now it’s cars. What’s next?”

She said the insurance company, police in both Guelph and Montreal have been great with her, and everyone seems genuinely concerned.

Stalker said she was guaranteed her insurance premiums won’t go up, but added that’s the least of her concerns.

“We worked really hard to buy that truck. It’s very important to my partner. He worked his whole life to be able to have it, it was kind of a life-long dream,” she said. “Even though it’s been recovered, it’s never going to be the same. Somebody took that away, and we will never get that (sense of security) back.”

Stalker also fears for the safety of others, who may catch perpetrators in the act.

“Watch out for your neighbours, stop victim-blaming and be careful,” she said. “I just hope that everyone is careful. We don’t need a bigger tragedy before the holiday season than what’s going on.

“And I really hope that between the police, the insurance companies and the manufacturers, that they can come up with some way to deal with this because this can’t continue.”

A spokesperson for Stellantis, the parent company that makes the Ram pickup, provided the following statement.

“Stellantis vehicles meet or exceed all applicable federal standards for safety and security. While such events are rare, they are not exclusive to any make or model of vehicle. Stellantis uses industry-standard vehicle-security technology. And as with other vehicle features, we are engaged in continuous product improvement. Notwithstanding, we urge all motorists to take due care in securing their vehicles. The security and protection of our customers are unsurpassed priorities at Stellantis.”

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