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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…)

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.


Car Thefts Plunge By More than Half

Better technology, increased enforcement keep thieves at bay.

by on Dec.17, 2014

Car thefts surged in the 1970s and '80s, but the numbers have been falling since 1991's peak.

There may be far more cars on the road, but car theft has plunged 58% since 1991’s all-time high, according to newly released FBI data.

Increased law enforcement and enhanced automotive technology have combined to make it tougher on car thieves, though nearly 700,000 vehicles were still snatched in the U.S. last year.

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Nonetheless, “It means that if you own a vehicle, your chances of having it stolen today are statistically and significantly less than at any other time since 1960,” according to a new analysis of the FBI data by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB.


A Dozen Ways to Keep Your Car from Being Stolen

Don’t become a statistic during National Vehicle Theft Protection Month.

by on Jul.25, 2014

A car is stolen every 44 seconds in the U.S., but there steps owners to can take to lower the odds.

Despite a nationwide crackdown, car theft remains a major problem, and according to government statistics, a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. about every 44 seconds. As the title of a recent movie suggested, a thief may need as little as 60 seconds to break in and then drive off with your car.

But you don’t have to become an unhappy part of those statistics. Driver error is responsible for as much as 50% of vehicle theft, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some common sense steps can reduce the odds of having your vehicle stolen – while you can also improve the odds of recovering your car, truck or crossover if it is snatched.

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The simplest step is to always remember to lock your car – and then take the key. Even with today’s remote keyless entry systems, a surprising number of motorists still don’t bother to close their windows and lock their vehicles up. Many people will even leave their keys in a cupholder or even in the ignition. You might as well put a sign on the windshield, “Steal Me.” (more…)

Honda Accord is America’s Most Stolen Vehicle

Honda Civic second in annual “Hot Wheels” report.

by on Aug.21, 2013

The 1996 Honda Accord was the single most frequently stolen vehicle in America during 2012.

The Honda Civic was the nation’s most frequently stolen vehicle, while the maker’s Civic model came in second on the annual Hot Wheels report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The trade group revised the latest version of its study, no longer focusing on individual model-years but combing all years of a particular make and model. The NICB now also lists the top new vehicles that were stolen in 2012.

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The latest Hot Wheels study coincides with what appears to be a reversal of an eight-year downward trend in car thefts. The NICB expects thefts to rise by about 1.3% in 2013.


Mercedes Top Luxury Brand for Car Thieves

California accounts for a quarter of all stolen luxury models.

by on Jul.30, 2013

Mercedes had three models on the Top 10 list of stolen luxury vehicles, according to the NICB.

Car theft has begun to rise again, according to recent reports, and while thieves often target mainstream vehicles that can readily be resold or stripped down for parts, luxury cars are far from immune.

And a new study suggests that Mercedes-Benz is the brand car thieves seem to be targeting the most, with three models – the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class – among the Top 10 most frequently stolen luxury vehicles, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

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German vehicles, in general, were among the most frequently stolen high-line products, perhaps no surprise considering brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW – which had two models in the Top 10 – are also the luxury segment sales leaders. Each of Japan’s three upscale brands had a single model on the list, as did Detroit’s Lincoln and Cadillac.


Car Thieves Offer a Reprieve on Xmas – But Watch Out New Year’s Eve

Holiday season presents big risks for motorists.

by on Dec.19, 2012

Happy New Year?

The holidays may be a time to spread joy, but be careful you don’t let a car thief sour your good cheer.

A new study ranks the final week of the year as one of the riskiest when it comes to getting your car stolen – though the good news is that even the bad guys seem to take a break on Christmas day.

Among 11 major holidays (okay, an even dozen if you include Groundhog Day), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICD) reveals Christmas landed last in terms of the total number of vehicles stolen in the U.S. in 2011, at 1,347.  In fact, Christmas had the lowest rate of car theft of any day in 2011, holiday or not.  Groundhog Day, at 1,491, was second-lowest.

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Apparently, all those tricksters were helping themselves to some expensive treats on Halloween, which ranked number one on the list with 2,328 vehicles stolen.

Close behind, however, was New Year’s Day, at 2,286, followed by Memorial Day, at 2,005, and Labor Day, at 1,977.


Honda Accord Tops Most-Stolen List

Top 10 list evenly divided between U.S., Asian makers.

by on Aug.21, 2012

Yet again, the 1994 Honda Accord tops the list of most-stolen vehicles, according to a new study.

This is one list you’d probably prefer not to see your car wind up on, but if you own a 1994 Honda Accord it is the vehicle thieves are most likely to target, according to a new study released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The good news is that car theft, in general, has been declining in recent years – though there are some nagging hot spots, especially along the West Coast.  But the NICB’s annual Hot Wheels study shows that thieves are particular about what they go after, whether there’s strong demand for a particular model or they’re just easier to get away with.

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Honda, it turns out, has the two most frequently stolen models, both the ’94 Accord and the ’98 Civic.  The full list follows.  It reveals that Japanese makers built half of the Top 10 models, Detroit the other five.  The list also is fairly evenly split between passenger cars, such as the Accord, and light trucks, including the 2006 Ford F-Series pickup and 2000 Dodge Caravan minivan.


Audi, Ford, BMW Models Top Stolen List

Overall auto theft rate continues to dip.

by on Nov.08, 2011

Percentage wise, the most stolen car of 2009, the Audi S8.

You have your choice of good news or bad.  When it comes to stolen cars, the good news is that the auto theft rate continues to decline, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The bad news?  That might depend on what you own, especially if you park an Audi, Ford or BMW model in your driveway.

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The top of the list is the Audi S8 which had a theft rate, according to NHTSA, of 8.81 per thousand in 2009 – the latest year for which data is available.  But the fed report is based on percentages, not raw numbers.  Audi only sold 227 of the S8s in the U.S. that year, and a grand total of 2 were stolen.

Using more conventional math reveals an entirely different picture, however, with more mainstream models like the Toyota Corolla, at the top of the list.


Escalade Tops the List of Late-Model Stolen Cars

Caddy tops list for fourth year.

by on Aug.25, 2011

The Cadillac Escalade EXT tops the lost of stolen vehicles, according to a new report.

Bling, bling…gone.

For the fourth year in a row, the big Cadillac Escalade, a favorite among rappers and professional athletes, tops the list as the car more likely to be stolen, according to a new report by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The trade group’s data show that four different versions of the Escalade rank high on the list of 2008 to 2010 vehicles thieves targeted, with the Cadillac Escalade EXT, an SUV/pickup blend, ranking at the top of the list.  On average, it experienced 14 claims per 1,000 registered vehicles – eight times higher than the average vehicle covered by the study.  Overall, theft claims for the Escalade resulted in average insurance payouts of $10,555.

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The HLDI study reveals that Detroit brands top the theft charts – and that thieves seem to prefer pickups and SUVs.  In fact, eight of the top 10 are either General Motors or Ford trucks.  The other two slots were filled by Chrysler, with two versions of its big 300 sedan.