Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Most Stolen Cars

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released, yet again, the most commonly stolen cars in the US. I always thought that this was an interesting report to take time, money, and effort to produce year after year, and interesting in this sense meaning something that really bored people put together. What’s interesting though, is the age and class of cars.

Most of us have seen Gone in 60 Seconds. If you haven’t, you can probably catch it at least once a month on either TNT or TBS. And if you come across it, it’s worth watching. To sum up, a team of thieves has to steal 50 cars in one night. These cars are 6-figure exotics and collectibles. They are not stuff you run across on your daily commute…nor are ANY of them, or anything even close to them on the list of the most stolen cars in the US.

10. ’07 Carolla
9. ’88 Toyota Pick-up
8. ’94 Sentra
7. ’04 Dodge Ram Pick-up
6. ’94 Integra
5. ’94 Chevy C/K 1500
4. ’97 F-150
3. ’89 Camry
2. ’91 Accord
1.’95 Civic

NICB states that the reason these cars are most commonly stolen is because they tend to provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts. That makes sense I suppose. But doesn’t probability play a factor? After all, most of these are fairly common consumer vehicles. And it makes sense that the most common vehicles stolen in the US are those that are in the greatest circulation. Why aren’t Lamborghinis and Ferraris and Lotuses being swiped all over the place? Because there aren’t any. Okay, not exactly true, but I guarantee you’ll see 100 Civics for every Lamborghini.

The NICB suggests a multi-functional approach towards the prevention of auto theft. The first step is to take “standard anti-theft measures” such as locking the car and taking the keys. Yeah no shit. As opposed to locking it and leaving the keys on the hood? Next they say to get a warning or alarm on the car. So my little sticker that says “Protected by Viper” by itself doesn’t get it done? From there, use an “immobilizing device” such as a SmartKey or fuel cut off that prohibits the car from being driven. The Kelly Blue Book on a ’95 Civic is $3,800-5,500. How much does a SmartKey cost? How about go old school and buy a Club? And finally, they suggest a tracking system like Low-Jack to find your car if it is stolen. And how much is that?
An alarm, SmartKey, and Low-Jack all for a car who’s payoff will be as low as 3 grand? Shit, just take the car.

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