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Want to Keep Your Car? Keep Your Keys With You

New study shows more cars getting stolen after owners leave keys in vehicle.

by on Nov.02, 2016

A thief uses a laptop computer, possibly to pair his own key to the Jeep's electronic ignition.

Want to keep your car from thieves? Don’t worry about them hacking into it, worry about leaving your keys in the car. A new study shows more and more folks are losing their cars to opportunistic crooks.

In 2015, a car was reported stolen every 45 seconds, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). However, one out of every eight, or every 6:30, were due to the driver leaving the keys in the car.

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It’s a growing problem according to the latest report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The 57,096 thefts in 2015 were a 22% increase over the previous year. During the past three years, it has grown 31%. (more…)

California is Nirvana for Car Thieves

Golden State dominates top 10 list for 2014.

by on Jun.25, 2015

San Francisco and Oakland led the nation in car thefts per capita in 2014. California had seven areas in the top 10.

The Golden State is the land of golden opportunities for car thieves as California was home to seven of the top 10 areas for vehicle theft in 2014, according to a recent report.

More cars were stolen from San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area per capita than any other area in the country: a combined 29,093 stolen cars in 2014, or 633.3 thefts per 100,000 people.

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California took the top three spots in the country, said the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual “Hot Spots” report. In fact, California had 15 of the 30 cities on the report. In one sense, California sitting atop the list isn’t entirely surprising: it has the most cars. Combine that with the climate, which helps cars remain in better condition, and it adds to the equation. (more…)

US Buyers Could be Inundated by Flood of Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Storms may have damaged 10,000 vehicles in Texas alone.

by on Jun.08, 2015

The storms that battered much of middle America resulting in floods means the used car market may see some of these water-damaged vehicles for sale.

The storms that have swept across the middle of the U.S. in recent weeks have caused extensive damage and a number of deaths. But there could be plenty of new victims in the weeks and months ahead.

Perhaps 10,000 vehicles were seriously damaged or totaled in Texas alone, according to industry experts. And they worry that many of those could wind up back on the U.S. car market, their titles “washed” so that unsuspecting buyers don’t realize the risks they face.

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Flood-damaged vehicles can undergo cosmetic repairs that often mask, rather than resolve, longer-term issues, such as rust, mold and mechanical problems that could plague buyers later on, experts warn. (more…)

Motorists Make it Easy for Thieves by Leaving Keys in Cars

Theft with keys growing, even as overall car thefts dip.

by on Apr.28, 2015

A growing number of cars are being stolen when motorists leave keys in their vehicles.

Automakers have gone to great lengths in recent years to make it more difficult to steal a car. Some owners, however, are going to great lengths to make it easy again.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, at least $750 million worth of vehicles were stolen between 2012 and 2014 because motorists left the keys inside. And NICB President Joe Wehrle says, “I’m sure the numbers are probably higher,” but owners aren’t likely to admit the fact when they file a police report or insurance claim.

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California topped the list of states where the problem occurred during the three-year period. Texas was next on the list, followed by Florida, Michigan and Ohio.

If you leave out the cars stolen because of owners leaving the keys inside, the NICB says overall vehicle thefts would have dropped to a nearly 50-year low in 2014.

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Hondas Top the Most Stolen Vehicle List in 2013

Older vehicles typically targeted by thieves.

by on Aug.20, 2014

The 1994 Honda Accord is still popular among car thieves. It topped the 2013 list of most stolen vehicles.

Not only do people buy a lot Honda Accords and Civics each year, apparently thieves also steal a lot of them too as the pair topped this year’s most stolen vehicle list.

The vehicles are consistently among the top five vehicles stolen each year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and its annual “Hot Wheels” report. Last year, 53,995 Accords and 45,001 Civic sedans were stolen.

Beyond the Headlines!

If you just bought a new Accord, do not panic: it’s primarily models built before 1997, according to statistics, that are stolen. (more…)

Ford Sport Utes, Crossovers Most Likely to be Stolen

Escape leads the way; Edge and Explorer round out top three.

by on Jun.17, 2014

The Ford Escape is the most stolen sport-utility vehicles in the U.S., according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau study.

Everyone’s heard of “zero-down” deals for new cars, but in the case of the Ford Escape, it can mean something entirely different: it’s the most stolen SUV in America.

In fact, Ford holds the top three spots on the list – Edge and Explorer are the next – compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The organization annually puts together a list, which this year looked at thefts of 2011 to 2013 model-year SUVs and crossovers from 2010 to 2013. The aptly named Escape was spirited away in 1,421 cases.

Beyond the Headlines!

Sport utility and crossovers, which for the purposes of the report are tracked together, thefts are up 31% during that timeframe. Compact SUVs are twice as likely to be stolen as full-size SUVs, the study finds. (more…)

Honda Leads List of Most-Stolen Cars

But Detroit models gain popularity with thieves.

by on Aug.03, 2011

The 1994 Honda Accord was the vehicle most often targeted by car thieves last year.

Honda and Toyota products topped the latest list of the cars most frequently targeted by thieves – but Detroit models are becoming increasingly popular, as well, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

On the positive side, preliminary FBI data show that car theft is continuing to decline, with the numbers down about 7.2% last year which, if the statistics hold up, would make it the lowest figure since 1967, according to the NICB.

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The 1994 Honda Accord topped the “Hot Wheels” list prepared annually by the Crime Bureau – its third year in a row at the top — followed by the 1995 Honda Civic.  Rounding out the top three was the 1991 Toyota Camry.  But there was only one other import among the Top Ten, the 1994 Acura Integra, which was eighth.  Domestic-made products, including the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and 2002 Ford Explorer, made up the rest of the list.  It was the first time since 2002 that more Detroit models made the list than import brands.

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Vehicle Thefts Post Sixth Straight Yearly Decline

Latest “Hot Wheels” list shows largest annual drop in decades.

by on Sep.21, 2010

Keeping the chop shops in business are older, but popular models.

The FBI’s just-released 2009 Uniform Crime Report shows that vehicle theft is once again down significantly in 2009, the sixth consecutive year of reductions.  In 2008, 956,846 vehicles were reported stolen – the lowest annual total in more than 20 years. For 2009 the thefts are lower at 794,616.

Using this FBI data, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has just released its list of the Top Ten stolen vehicles in the United States by make, model, and year.  Honda Accord and Civic, Toyota Camry and the Ford F-150 head the list.

Unlike other theft reports, this one covers all vehicles, not just insured ones. That’s a significant difference in the data base since newer, more expensive and insured vehicles are often stolen to be resold with counterfeit vehicle identification numbers or shipped out of the country across our porous borders.  (See Vehicles Thieves Love to See – and Take) Older cars are often chopped up for parts, leaving their less affluent owners out of luck.

“Through the end of August this year there were 97,655 vehicles that were listed as stolen and not yet recovered,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO. “Of that number, only 38% had some kind of insurance coverage. So there are a lot of vehicles out there that are being stolen and the owner is left holding the bag with no car and no money to buy another one.

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