Car Theft: Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle Safe


Automotive theft elevated dramatically in the USA through the first three months of 2022. In keeping with the non-profit Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB), a analysis group funded by the insurance coverage trade, almost 1 / 4 million automobile thefts have been reported from January to March of 2022. That compares to 2021 when 936,315 People had their automobiles stolen.

Automotive theft had declined for 2 years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However one thing in regards to the downturn within the financial fortunes of many People and a discount within the whole miles we drive brought about that development to reverse.

The Danger Isn’t the Identical All over the place

The rise in automobile theft isn’t common, the NICB studies. Some areas noticed a dramatic spike. Washington, D.C., residents noticed their danger rise 40% in only one yr. Colorado noticed an identical rise, almost 36%.

RELATED: Does Auto Insurance coverage Cowl Theft?

Bakersfield, California, has had the best auto theft charge within the nation for the final two years. However there may be little sample to the numbers. The 5 areas with the best theft charges symbolize each coasts and several other states in between and embrace closely city and largely rural states.

Thieves Use Tech to Goal Autos

Some thieves use know-how, from stealing key fob indicators to utilizing tile monitoring units.

They may scan a focused house for key fob indicators, and utilizing a tool, thieves can hack a sign and transmit it to a different particular person by the automotive. Relying on the energy, the criminals can break into and even steal the automobile.

They’re additionally utilizing monitoring units like Apple AirTags. Regulation enforcement authorities say thieves began utilizing monitoring units positioned across the automotive, akin to behind a license plate of a focused automobile. Nonetheless, some automobile house owners additionally preserve monitoring units of their automobiles so if stolen, they’ll find them.

If you end up within the state of affairs of a stolen automobile with a monitoring system, at all times name authorities and alert them first earlier than making an attempt to trace it down by your self.

States With the Highest Auto Theft Charges

In keeping with the NICB, between 2016 and 2020, these states had the best auto theft charge per 100,000 residents (the NICB treats Washington, D.C., as a state for statistical functions):

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Colorado
  • California
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico

States With the Lowest Auto Theft Charges

The NICB treats Puerto Rico as a state for statistical functions.

  • Massachusetts
  • Puerto Rico
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Maine

The Most Generally Stolen Vehicles

The checklist of generally stolen automobiles mirrors the checklist of best-selling automobiles most years. That is true as a result of they’re simply out there, and their components are value extra since they’re in excessive demand. See the ten mostly stolen automobiles in 2021 (the latest yr for NICB statistics) under.

Rank Car Make & Mannequin  Thefts Most Widespread Mannequin 12 months Stolen
1 Chevy Full Measurement Decide-up  48,206            2004
2 Ford Full Measurement Decide-up  47,999            2006
3 Honda Civic  31,673            2000
4 Honda Accord  30,274            1997
5 Toyota Camry  17,270            2007
6 GMC Full Measurement Decide-up  15,599            2005
7 Nissan Altima  14,108            2020
8 Honda CR-V  13,308            2000
9 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee  13,210            2018
10 Toyota Corolla  12,927            2020

Supply: NICB

A Rising Drawback: Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converter from a vehicle

Along with automobile theft, the NICB says thieves started concentrating on costly catalytic converters within the final a number of years. Theft of those units skyrocketed with a 1,215% improve since 2019.

A catalytic converter is a tool in regards to the measurement of a loaf of bread (greater on automobiles outfitted with bigger engines) in your automotive’s exhaust system. It’s positioned forward of the muffler, usually close to the middle of the automobile, and simply accessible from beneath.

The catalytic converter helps filter dangerous pollution out of your automotive’s exhaust. It sends scorching exhaust gasses via a honeycomb of uncommon metals, like rhodium and palladium, that act as sponges, absorbing dangerous chemical substances.

It’s these uncommon metals that created a catalytic converter crime wave. Their costs have spiked just lately, making a comparatively new converter value 1000’s of {dollars}.

Thieves can take away them in minutes by sliding beneath the automotive and sawing them out of the exhaust system with an influence noticed.

Tricks to Preserve Your Automotive Secure

Conserving your automotive comparatively secure from thieves isn’t difficult or costly.

Thieves goal the automobiles that go away them least in danger. So, a number of common sense steps could make them prone to bypass your automobile and search for a neater mark.

PRO TIP 1: Keep away from “puffing” or preserving your automobile switched on when you run an errand. Warming and leaving a automotive unattended in some states and municipalities is against the law. Many homeowners additionally go away the important thing fobs inside, making the automobiles a simple goal for thieves. See extra safety ideas under.

RELATED: Vehicles That Use Digital Keys

In keeping with the NICB, distant starters permit automotive house owners to start out the engine whereas preserving the automobile locked up, with out the presence of a key or fob.

Attempt these 4 layers of safety from the NICB:

Defending your catalytic converter entails the identical steps as defending your automotive.

Consultants say parking inside is one of the best protection if you happen to’re fearful about thieves stealing your new automotive’s catalytic converter. The place that’s not an choice, park in well-lit areas and take into account putting in a safety digital camera. A number of firms make guards you may set up, designed to make eradicating the converter take too lengthy to be value a thief’s time. However we’ve seen no research that study whether or not the guards deter thieves.

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