Did you know that a car is stolen every 26 seconds in the U.S. costing the American public nearly $7.6 billion each year? The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) list of the most frequently stolen cars of 2008 has given us some idea of the most favorite type of cars that these criminals love to steal.
The 1995 Honda Civic is the top pick among car thieves. The 1991 Honda Accord, 1989 Toyota Camry and the 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck are the next favorites. The only other domestic brands on the list were trucks such as the 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 and the 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup. Other favorites are the Acura Integra and Nissan Sentra.
As you can see, many of the vehicles are older cars. Car thieves target these older vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts. So if you car is stolen it is probably taken to chop shops where they completely dismantle the car and sell the parts on the black market.
The NICB encourages everyone to follow a “layered approach” for auto theft protection. This approach is simple and low-cost and makes these vehicles less attractive to thieves. The first layer is common sense. Lock your car; park it under a street light, etc. The next is use a warning device such as a car alarm. NICB also suggests that you use an immobilizing device such as a fuel cut-off or smart key that prevents the vehicle from being driven. The fourth layer consists of a tracking device allowing law enforcement officers to track and recover a vehicle if stolen.
The cost of some of these theft-detracting items may not be as expensive as you think. After all, a couple of hundred bucks to prevent your car from being stolen are better than tens of thousands of dollars it would take to replace it.