It’s expensive enough just keeping a car on the road. The theft of a vehicle can really ding your wallet as well as your general sense of safety and security.
A new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows which vehicles thieves are targeting the most. The NICB’s Hot Wheels Auto Theft Report indicates that Chevrolet and Ford full-size pickups were the two most-stolen vehicles in the United States in 2021.
Thieves 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.
“Crime is a business, and business is good,” David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB, says in a news release. “Used car values are at historical highs. We have seen a nearly 35% increase in used car values over the last two years due to supply chain issues and inflation. Stolen cars can be shipped overseas and resold or broken down for valuable used car parts here in the U.S.”
Here are some key findings from the report:
- With 48,206 full-size Chevy trucks stolen in 2021, the brand replaced Ford full-size pickups at the top of the list.
- Vehicle thefts increased 8% in 2021 compared to the previous year.
- The Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee made the list for the first time.
|Vehicle Make/Model||2021 Thefts||Model Year Most Often Stolen|
|Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)||48,206||2004|
|Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)||47,999||2006|
|GMC Pick-Up (Full Size)||15,599||2005|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||13,210||2018|
How To Prevent Your Vehicle From Getting Stolen
While there is no foolproof way to keep your car from being stolen, there are some things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor. I’ll go over some tips and 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,” says 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 if 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 around $13.
Another device that could 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 victim of car theft, the first thing you should do is contact your local law enforcement agency and then your car insurance company.
If the police recover your vehicle, make sure you inform your insurer immediately to resolve your claim.