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September 03, 2009

Car Theft Down, Clunker Theft Up

Honda accord Though car theft is on the decrease because of improved security on new and recent models, another kind of car theft is taking its place. Old clunkers, once considered practically immune to theft, are revealed by National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Hot Wheels 2009 study to be the most commonly stolen cars.  The top ten are:

  1.  1994 Honda Accord   

  2.  1995 Honda Civic

  3.  1989 Toyota Camry  

  4.  1997 Ford F-150 Pickup   

  5.  2004 Dodge Ram Pickup      

  6.  2000 Dodge Caravan

  7.  1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee    

  8.  1994 Acura Integra   

  9.  1999 Ford Taurus

10.  2002 Ford Explorer


Though 2008 was the fifth consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts, certain models of older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts. Frequently, the parts can be stripped from a car at a chop shop and sold for at least twice as much as the value of the vehicle on the used car market. Also, newer models are also more difficult, but not impossible to steal. Protect your beloved oldie by usin NICB's four layers of protection:


Common Sense:  Lock your car and take your keys.  It’s simple enough but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars.


Warning Device:  Using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.


Immobilizing Device:  Generally speaking, if your car won’t start, it won’t get stolen. “Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices which are extremely effective.


Tracking Device:  A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. If the vehicle is moved the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.


For more theft prevention tips, visit RTM's Auto Safety & Security.


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