Car Theft: Watch Out

If you own a car auto theft should be of concern to you. In 2005 almost 1,235,226 motor vehicles were stolen. Of those cars stolen, only 13% of the cases of auto theft were ever recovered. Car thieves are capable of finding their way into almost any car they can get their hands onto. They are fast, resourceful, and diligent in their efforts to turn your car into yet another statistic.

What Type of Cars are Stolen?

Believe it or not, just because your car is not the newest luxury car with all the bells and whistles you can have included on it, it does not mean that your old reliable car is not a commodity for a car thief. Thieves may want to find a non-discreet car that blends into the rest of the cars in the area. The fact is there are more cars that are older on the road than newer cars. The 2005 CCC information Services and MSN reports on the top cars stolen listed the following cars as the ones most likely to be stolen:

1995 Acura Integra
1996 Acura Integra
1997 Acura Integra
1998 Acura Integra
1999 Acura Integra
2000 Jaguar XJR
2001 Acura Integra
2001 BMW M Roadster
2002 Audi S4
2004 Mercury Marauder

Naturally higher end cars are taken as well. The most common luxury cars stolen, as related by Forbes Cars were:

BMW 7L Series
Cadillac Escalade
Chevrolet Avalanche
Chevrolet Corvette
Honda S2000 Convertible
Hummer H2
Lincoln Navigator
Mercedes-Benz S-Class
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

These cars were the top luxury vehicles with model years between 2002-2004 and had an original manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of a minimum of $30,000. These are not the typical cars of many people, but when a thief wants a car, they will go after whatever automobile that they are looking for without caring whose car it is.

Why are so Many Cars Stolen?

Thieves come from a variety of backgrounds, therefore there are myriad reasons that cars are stolen. Joyriding is a common reason. Sometimes just to do it on a dare, sometimes just to get a ride from one place to another, teenagers and young adults will pick the likes of your car for quick transportation. They also may take the joyriding a step further and use your car as a trade for drugs. Other times cars are stolen for a longer period of time to use for personal use and the car is later dropped off somewhere when the thief deems it necessary to move on. They will abandon the car, or if it is profitable for them, sell it for parts.

There is a black market for cars. Sometimes a car is stolen to "sell as is", but most likely the car will be torn a part for parts. Some "shops" will tell a thief what type of car they need or what parts are needed. The thief seeks out the car and brings back the car that is desired. Then the car is used at the "shop's" discretion. This can make the likelihood of your car being found almost nonexistent because your car becomes just one of many parts on the black market. Another reason cars are stolen is by the owners themselves. Hoping to get over on their insurance company and get money some owners will commit fraud to make a profit.

How is Auto Theft Prevented?

Being pro-active is a great step to help prevent your car from being stolen. Make sure that no matter what you do, you lock your car. Whether it is in a parking lot or even your driveway, make sure you secure your car. Countless cars are stolen each day right from under a person's nose because they "ran in for one quick minute." Make sure your purchases and valuables are hidden away. These are triggers for thieves to take your car. At night, be sure to park in well-lit areas where people will pass by. Thieves will take your car directly from you. Make sure when you are driving you have ample room between your car and the person in front of you so you can get around the car ahead of you if someone you find suspicious approaches you. There are countless anti-theft devises on the market to help as well. Steering wheel locks, ignition kill switches, tracking devices, and fuel pump kill switches can help to deter thieves.

Your car and your safety matter. In order to keep your car safe from auto theft and you safe from auto thieves make sure you use the above tips and common sense. Remember any devices and plans you have set in place for auto theft prevention only work as good as you are at making sure they work. Don't let you and your car become a statistic!