With new and used cars facing inventory issues these days, the last thing you need is your vehicle to be stolen.
Auto thieves prefer some models more than others, according to a recent report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) Hot Wheels Auto Theft Report identifies the top 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States last year.
Criminals Are Targeting These Vehicles
In addition to looking at the makes and models of the vehicles most often stolen, the report also lists the most common model year that criminals are targeting.
“Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB, says in a news release.
Here are some key findings from the report:
- The Ford full size pick-up repeats as the #1 most stolen vehicle.
- Chevrolet’s full size pick-up comes in at #2, bumping the Honda Civic to #3.
- Four of the 10 vehicles on the list saw double-digit increases in thefts compared to the previous year.
|Vehicles||Thefts||% Increase From Previous Year||Most Common Model Stolen|
|Ford Full Size Pick-up||44,014||13.0%||2006|
|Chevrolet Full Size Pick-up||40,968||25.7%||2004
|GMC Full Size Pick-up||13,016||16.6%||2005|
|Dodge Full Size Pick-up||11,991||6.2%||2001
How To Prevent Your Vehicle From Getting Stolen
While there is no foolproof way to keep your car from getting stolen, there are some things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor. I’ll go over some tips then tell you about some technology that can save your vehicle from thieves.
Money expert Clark Howard says a lot of car thefts can be thwarted by good old common sense.
“One general word of warning. Whether you have an old car or a new car, don’t create a crime of opportunity for a crook,” Clark says. “I see so many people who pull up to convenience stores and leave the car running with the key in the ignition to go into the store. Don’t create that opportunity for the criminal.”
- Know your surroundings.
- Hide your valuables
- Keep your car doors locked at all times.
Here are a few things you can buy to help deter car theft.
Invest in Anti-Theft Devices
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it’s a good idea to have anti-theft devices in your car so a would-be crook can see that you’re protected.
“Visible devices create a visual threat/warning/deterrence, such as the use of steering-wheel locks, as well as theft-deterrent decals, flashing lights, and window etching,” it says on the agency’s website.
A car alarm is another device that can deter criminals from stealing your car.
Install a Vehicle Immobilizer
A device that kills your ignition can come in handy when a crook gets behind the wheel of your car.
According to the NHTSA website, mentioned earlier, “These prevent thieves from bypassing a vehicle’s ignition system and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some incorporate computer chips in ignition keys or disable the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine.”
You can pick up a vehicle immobilizer on Amazon starting at $11.
Another device that can come in handy, after your vehicle is stolen is a vehicle tracker.
Location-tracking software sold on Amazon and other places can make it easy to find your vehicle in real-time.
AAA says on its website, “Signing up for a GPS-based or other location vehicle tracking system is one of the best ways to locate a stolen vehicle.”
Getting your vehicle stolen is no fun, but it doesn’t have to lead to financial ruin.
If you become a car theft victim, the first thing you should do is contact your local law enforcement agency, then your car insurance company.
If the police recover your vehicle, make sure you inform your insurer immediately to resolve your claim.