What Car Thieves Are Stealing and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
While you might think that expensive, flashy cars are the most likely to be targeted by thieves, the truth is that family vehicles blend in much easier and, therefore, are stolen more often than others. The Honda Accord was stolen more often than any other vehicle in 2013 and the rest of the top ten is dominated by vehicles that you would see on any street in the country. As a result, owners of family cars might want to take extra precautions to ensure that they do not become victims of a car theft.
Honda Accord and Civic
One vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States and the vast majority of these vehicles are Hondas. The Accord was stolen 53,995 times in 2013, while the Civic was taken 45,001 times in the same year. Since antitheft technology has improved so greatly in recent years, most of these thefts occurred in older models. In fact, automobile theft is down 50 percent since 1991, but it still costs insurance companies more than $4 billion in losses annually.
The Toyota Camry and Corolla are also very popular with thieves, with the Camry being stolen 14,420 times and the Corolla 9,010 in 2013. Once again, most of these thefts occur in older models of the vehicles, as they are not equipped with the same level of antitheft technology.
The rest of the vehicles found in the top ten of vehicle thefts are mostly domestic trucks, minivans and SUVs. The Chevy Silverado is the third most commonly stolen vehicle, with 27,809 thefts in 2013, and the Ford F-150 is the fourth most stolen, with 26,494 units being taken. The Dodge Ram, the Dodge Caravan and the Jeep Cherokee are also in the top ten, which shows that thieves will steal larger vehicles if they feel as though they can get away with it.
What Vehicle Owners Can Do
The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to take the necessary precautions to protect your vehicle. Start by always parking in well-lit areas, and never leave your keys in your car. If possible, park your car in the garage, rather than leaving it on the street. Double-check that your doors are locked and your windows are closed every night before you go to bed. While these might seem like common-sense methods, a surprising number of people do not follow these rules and make it very easy for thieves to steal their cars.
There is always more that you can do to keep your vehicle safe. Start by installing an antitheft device in the car. While many new vehicles come equipped with this technology, older vehicles will need aftermarket devices installed.
Even if your vehicle came with an antitheft device, you can make it even more effective with some add-ons. For example, you can purchase map light accent pieces for your Ford Mustang, which work with your antitheft device and make the interior of your vehicle much brighter. Once this is installed, thieves are more likely to avoid your vehicle because they will be highly visible once the lights shine on them.
BIO: James White is a construction worker with a passion for turbo. His articles have been featured on Off the Throttle and Car Domain. Follow James on Twitter @JGtheSavage.