We have all seen the nervous owner of a new car wearily walk away from it in a public parking lot.
They are worried about scratches, dents, dings and above all theft.
Many of us may assume the more expensive your vehicle; the better the chances are it will be stolen. But is that really so?
According to the numbers released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, it would seem the opposite was true.
Below is the list of the most stolen vehicles from 2012(that is the most recent). The cited cars are from all model years.
1. Honda Accord 58,596.
2. Honda Civic 47,037.
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) 26,770.
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 23,745.
5. Toyota Camry 16,251.
6. Dodge Caravan 11,799.
7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) 11,755.
8. Acura Integra 9,555.
9. Nissan Altima 9,169.
10. Nissan Maxima 6,947.
What I found most interesting was the older model Accords were targeted more often than the late model ones. The most stolen version of America’s most stolen car was the 1996 Honda Accord with 8,637 stolen in 2012 alone.
The 1990 to 2000 models of the Accord and Civic are the most popular years. This could be due to the lack of theft deterrent technology.
The list of the most stolen new cars was equally surprising as it featured not a single luxury high end vehicle.
1. Nissan Altima 921.
2. Chevrolet Impala 778.
3. Chevrolet Malibu 727.
4. Toyota Camry 665.
5. Ford Fusion 655.
6. Ford Pickup (Full Size) 595.
7. Ford Focus 523.
8. Chrysler 200 449.
9. Dodge Charger 416.
10. Dodge Avenger 412.
The next question we need an answer to then, is why do criminals steal the vehicles in the first place. According to the Insurance Board of Canada there are 4 primary reasons.
• To sell in another country: The stolen vehicle is driven straight into a shipping container and loaded on a cargo ship headed overseas. The vehicle is then sold well above its fair market value.
• To resell or dismantle: The vehicle may be given a false VIN (vehicle identification number) and then be sold with all the correct looking documents. Conversely, the vehicle may be dismantled and sold for parts.
• Joyriding or to get somewhere: Joyriding usually committed by bored teens. Someone may need a ride and see an idling car left unattended and “borrow it”.
• To commit another crime.
It only takes a thief an average of 30 seconds to steal a vehicle without a key. So how can we protect ourselves?
Here are a few dos and don’ts:
– roll up the windows, lock the doors and take the key’s with you.
-even if you park in your garage make sure you lock the vehicles doors.
-keep the ownership and proof of insurance with you.
-park in well-lit and visible areas.
-only give a parking attendant your vehicle key, never your home key.
-leave your vehicle unattended while it is running.
-leave your keys in the car or in an easily accessible area.
-never leave the ownership or proof of insurance in the vehicle.
-never leave valuables visible in the vehicle, use the trunk or the glove box.