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Vehicle Theft on the Decline, But Chargers & F-250 Models Still Attract Crooks

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On: Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 9:11AM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Vehicle Theft on the Decline, But Chargers & F-250 Models Still Attract Crooks

Although a recent spike in vehicle thefts over the July 4th holiday weekend startled some vehicle owners, the trend of fewer car thefts is still in strong. While data shows that car thefts in this country continue to decline, some vehicles are still being stolen at a high rate. The most vulnerable vehicles to car theft in this country include Dodge’s Charger and Ford’s F-250 passenger pickup trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the Highway Loss Data Institute (an private insurance organization), agree that theft of late model vehicles is not as common as it once was.

A major contributor to the rapid decline of vehicle thefts is how the auto makers are designing modern cars. Ignition immobilizers prevent hot wiring—the go-to method for car thieves. Almost 90% of 2012 models came with the ignition immobilizers from the manufacturer.

A recent report by the NHTSA reflects that the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2011 was the Dodge Charger. The Charger accounted for 4.8 of of every 1,000 vehicles stolen which were made in 2011. Rounding out the top five most commonly stolen cars made in 2011 were the Mitsubishi Galant, the Hyundai Accent, the Chevrolet Impala, and the Chevrolet HHR.

As far as passenger pickup trucks go, the Ford F-250 model with a crew cab and four-wheel drive topped the list of the top five most commonly stolen truck models made from 2010 through 2012. The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 model was the second most stolen, followed by the Chevy Avalanche 1500 model, the GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab model, and Ford’s F-350 crew cab model with four-wheel drive.

Larger passenger pickup trucks are more susceptible to theft because they carry a very high value, owners usually leave valuable tools and equipment in the bed, and worksite habits can make trucks an easy target.

As far as the Dodge Charger’s increased vulnerability goes, experts are unsure why these models are a top target. Some think it may be due to the car’s increased horsepower, but that’s not a very solid explanation—this model trails behind many other sports cars in power. If the horsepower theory were true, we’d see more theft in models like the Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, and Corvette. There’s likely a flaw in the vehicle’s security features that has yet to be identified.

Regardless, vehicle theft is becoming less of an issue for car and truck owners. This crime has been on the rapid decline ever since the year 2006. Still, vehicle owners are advised to secure the cars and trucks to the best of their ability to avoid becoming a victim of this expensive and time consuming crime.


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