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Grand Theft Auto- Facts and Counter Measures

– Posted in: Auto Insurance, Auto News, Everything Auto, Insurance 101

Automobile theft or the risk of it happening is something car owners face in any part of the world.  More than a mere robbery that leaves a car owner ‘carless’, the bigger picture of this situation portrays an expensive social stigma that costs the Insurance Industry billions of dollars in fixing or replacing the stolen cars. The Insurance expenses related to this also involve police, health-care, court and correctional services.
Whenever clients are in the process of shopping for a vehicle, I advise them to check the list of popular stolen cars issued by Insurance Bureau of Canada every year. This is because, insurance rates are greatly impacted for the worst based on how often a particular car is stolen. The thing is, you do not want to own that car, consequently paying a higher premium.

According to IBC, thieves steal vehicles due to any of the four reasons

1.  The thieves immediately pack and ship the vehicles that they steal with Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) intact. Then they sell them abroad for much higher price than the market value of the vehicle.

2. A stolen vehicle could be given a new identity by the perpetrator with fake VIN’s and are sold to unassuming customers. It can also be taken apart and sold for parts.

3. Sometimes, an auto theft can also be a result of ‘joy-riding’. But it is still a crime and people do get hurt on situations.

4. Bad dudes also steal cars to use it as an instrument in performing another crime. Often times in this type of scenario, vehicles are recovered in damaged conditions after the ‘use’.

According to the car theft reports of 2012, following cars ranked as top10 in Canada

1. 2000 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR         Grand Theft Auto

2. 1999 HONDA CIVIC SiR 2DR

3. 2006 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER SS 4DR 4WD

4. 2007 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

5. 2005 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR AWD

6. 2006 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

7. 2002 CADILLAC ESCALADE 4DR 4WD

8. 2005 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

9. 2004 FORD F350 SD 4WD PU

10. 1999 ACURA INTEGRA 2DR

The investigative officials with IBC says that the organized crime rings focus more on the higher end vehicles and once stolen, they are shipped to countries like Middle East, Europe and Western Africa.

As for US,
The Highway Data Loss Institute, supported by the insurance industry recently released the list of Top Ten Stolen Cars from 2010- 2012.

Curious to see the names in the list?
Here we go:
1. Ford F-250 Crew 4WD
2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew

3. Chevrolet Avalanche 1500

4. GMC Sierra 1500 Crew

5. Ford F-350 Crew 4WD

6. Cadillac Escalade 4WD

7. Chevrolet Suburban 1500

8. GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab

9. GMC Yukon

10. Chevrolet Tahoe

Interesting is the fact that all of these vehicles are trucks and SUV’s. The most vulnerable to theft in this list was Ford F-250 crew cab. Cadillac, the top runner in the previous years dropped to sixth in the reviewed year.

Alternatively,   in another survey conducted by
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
points to Dodge charger as the winner from their list of Popular Stolen Cars. NHTSA base their findings on FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report according to which 73% of vehicle stolen are passenger vehicles.

Even though the data gathered from these two surveys contradicts each other based on their findings of types of vehicles stolen most often, Grand Theft Auto still happens and it is a reality.

However, stealing cars are increasingly becoming harder for bad guys due to the introduction of anti-theft technology as a standard feature lately.  For instance, ignition immobilizer was introduced from 2012 model vehicles.

Counter measures like this to protect the vehicles significantly discourages a thief’s attempt to ‘hot-wire’ or ‘boost’ cars for stealing purposes and makes the ‘act’ more challenging. Yet, Auto theft still remains as a huge headache for car owners and insurance companies.

As a consumer, what can YOU do?

It doesn’t take a long time for an experienced thief to rob you off your car, let’s say, max 30 seconds.

popular cars stolen, car theft

 But if you set your mind into following precautions that are pretty simple, you could make his job a bit harder Wink

 1. Do not leave your car unattended

2. Look for a well-lit parking spot in a parking lot. Remember that, a thief works more efficiently in dark Smile

 

3. Secure your car appropriately when you are not around. Please remember to roll up the windows, lock the cars and pocket your keys.

 

4. Never leave your valuables like your laptop, GPS system (not installed), cell phones in plain sight in the car.  Hide them well in your glove compartment or under the seats. Sometimes, seeing them inside the car ‘entices’ the thief to steal the car itself. No joke!

 5. If possible, keep your car in the garage at night.

 

Believe it or not, 20% of the vehicles stolen always have keys in the ignition! How crazy is that? Yell

 

16 Comments… add one
Rosey August 8, 2013, 7:52 am

My brother-in-law’s wife (I just call her my sister, lol) just had her car stolen in West Palm Beach while she was in the store shopping!! Scary stuff.

Good tips to end the article.

Tammy Graham @ LoveMy2Dogs August 8, 2013, 7:56 am

They crazy thing that they just showed on our local news last night is that thieves some how are getting into cars with remotes and they are unlocking the cars and it’s by passing the alarms as if they had the key fobs to the cars and they are stealing everything from inside them. Here is the thing, if they can do this, what is going to stop them from stealing these cars that you don’t even have to put the key in the ignition to start them? I know my Mom’s new car doesn’t need the key in the ignition, it just needs to be say in her purse in the car and she just pushes a button to start it. My Uncle’s Corvette is the same way. I am sure that cars such as this will be on this list as a high theft rate before long because if they can figure out how to unlock them with some sort of remote, they will be starting them before long with something similar. This is another thing in this crazy world we live in.

Momless Mom August 8, 2013, 8:02 am

wow..that is crazy! The ignition immobilizer in the newer models are helping a great deal from getting the cars stolen. May be the situation you mentioned occurred to an an older model, prior to 2012? I think the car manufacturers are trying more genuine and creative ways to prevent the incidents, but until then, it will be almost like a trial and error. The consumers have to just watch for their back by being more careful.

Aida Ingram August 8, 2013, 8:13 am

This is such great information. I remember hearing about this a little while ago on television. I got my car stolen when I was living in the city and I remember feeling horrible. Thank you for sharing this with us!

Michelle Bardos August 8, 2013, 8:40 am

while I don’t live in CAN, I take very good care of my vehicles. It amazes me when I’m watching the news and they talk about people getting their cars broken in to and whole purses stolen from inside.

I like to keep our vehicles nice and clean so when/if people look inside they can clearly see nothing but carseats! :)

Momless Mom August 8, 2013, 8:45 am

Thanks for stopping by Michelle. I have also included the US numbers in the post.. You are right, as long as you take good care of the vehicles and be watchful and mindful of it, the risk of getting the car stolen is considerably minimized.

Sharm's Outlet August 8, 2013, 9:01 am

This is a great article thank you so much for this…

Renae C. August 8, 2013, 9:21 am

It’s crazy that so many cars stolen have the keys in the ignition! I always lock my doors, my dad is a locksmith and he would kill me if I didn’t! :D

Foodie in WV August 8, 2013, 12:49 pm

It’s interesting that all the cars on the US list are American made. I guess I’m safe since I hate American made cars, I have had two Fords and both of them were horrible! I’m lucky and have never had a car stolen. Our side of the street never has cars stolen, but the other side does since it doesn’t have bright lights. Apparently installing bright lights in front of your house scares away car thieves :)

chetana August 8, 2013, 3:37 pm

I had my cousin’s nanny ford Taurus stolen they never found it.She had bought Toyota Jeep of sorts -it was brand new -and that too got stolen in a few months but after they actually found her Toyota back a year later- I am not sure even if she had insurance, but she certainly got lucky!I think she needs to take a look at this!!

Michelle August 9, 2013, 7:24 am

That is really crazy that so many cars have the keys in them. Fortunately my old minivan doesn’t make any of these lists! :) And if we have to leave valuables in them (although I hate doing it and try to avoid doing it at all costs), we always hide them from plain sight. Great tips in here!

Lexie Lane August 10, 2013, 12:59 am

I’m surprised a toyota isn’t in the top 10. This is the very last thing I thought I’d find in a blog but extremely useful info!

Momless Mom August 10, 2013, 7:27 am

Toyota is famous for the risk of causing more injuries to the passengers after an accident so the Accident Benefits rates on this car is always high in Insurance. Toyota at the moment is not prone to getting stolen as far as the statistics say. Haha, you are right, it is unheard of finding this type of post in a blog, but what can I say, I just couldn’t stop myself from writing it :)

Poppy November 5, 2013, 8:57 pm

When Toyota Camrys were high on the stolen list in the late 90’s, I’d park mine with the keys in it and door slightly ajar at the Walmart and NO ONE took it :)

Cher @ Designs by Studio C November 6, 2013, 1:50 am

I had no idea that insurance rates were impacted by the likeliness of theft on a car!! I’m glad mine isn’t in the top 10 – so far!!

Tammy November 9, 2013, 4:44 am

I don’t think I’d be a good car thief because I NEVER understand why they steal the cars on those lists. Good post Vinma!

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