Auto Theft – What Are The Good And The Bad News?


Is there such a thing as good news if we are to talk about auto theft? Yes, there is and it is heading downward. However, recovering the stolen cars remains extremely difficult.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) has published a report that a steady decline of car theft started in 2004. Unfortunately, LoJack Inc., a company that manufactures car protection systems reveals that while there is a steady decline in car stealing, it is also getting a lot harder for these vehicles to be returned to their owners.

What Is Happening?

Many of today’s car owners are seeing the benefits of installing protection systems to their vehicles.  For instance, LoJack provides anti-theft systems that will make it for the thieves to snatch your vehicle. A wide array of car protection equipment such as the good old car alarm system, wheel locks, anti “hot-wiring” mechanisms, the “smart keys”  that use special codes and the ability to immobilize or shut down your car if someone uses it without your consent are getting popular these days.

On the other hand, if your car’s anti-theft system is being modernized so as the ability of the thieves to break in to your car. More often, organized criminal groups that use sophisticated methods are stealing these cars making it a $7.6 billion industry.  Stolen cars are usually delivered to “chop shop” where their parts are disassembled and taken to distant places to be resold to the locals.

Which Cars Are The Thieves’ Favorites?

It does not have to be a sleek, ultra-modern and fancy to become a target by these criminals. In 2008, NICB acknowledged that the following car models have been targeted the most.

Honda Civic in 1995. Honda Accord in 1991. Toyota Camry in 1989. Ford F-150 in 1997 and Chevrolet C/K 1500 in 1994.

Other equally favorite targets are the Dodge Ram Pickup, Nissan Sentra, and the  Acura Integra.

Specific regions were car thieves are most active are located in Yakima, Washington; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Central California; Laredo, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada.

How to Protect Car from Thieves

Well, the first thing to do is to never forget your car keys and always lock your car. Did you know that many drivers are still forgetting or simply neglecting this very simple step? It may seem obvious to you but not for everyone. You can also try to buy and install some of the security devices that were discussed above. Pick the ones that will best fit your needs and watch out for the price. Needless to say, that most of these devices can be very expensive.

If you can afford, try installing warning alarms and those that are able to immobilize your car using mobile commands. If budget is not an issue, why not use a tracking system as well. I believe this is also expensive but if your car is stolen, law enforcement should be able to track and recover your car as long it continues to beacon its position.

Lastly, you might want to consider getting a comprehensive car insurance policy. This type of policy will protect you from total loss in case the car becomes unrecoverable.