The Car Geek: Car Theft: Is Your Car Next?

The Car Geek

Monday, November 21, 2005

Car Theft: Is Your Car Next?

Are you in the habit of leaving your valuables (your laptop perhaps) in your car? Are you one of those people who think nothing of leaving your Honda Civic idling outside the grocery just so you can pick up some snacks for "just a few seconds"?

Well, how about digesting some of these facts?

Every 26 seconds, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States. The odds of a vehicle being stolen were 1 in 190 in 2003 (latest data available). The odds are highest in urban areas.

According to a

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) study released in August 2005, seven of the top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for vehicle theft in 2004 are in California.

The National Crime Insurance Bureau (NICB) says that the 1995 Honda Civic was the most stolen vehicle in 2004. Motor vehicle thieves continue to target imports over domestic brands. Many vehicles on the top ten list shown below are 10 to 17 model years old. These cars have been consistent top sellers for many years and some of their parts are interchangeable.

10 Most Stolen Vehicles: 1.1995 Honda Civic 2.1989 Toyota Camry 3.1991 Honda Accord 4.1994 Dodge Caravan 5.1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup 6.1997 Ford F150 Series 7.2003 Dodge Ram Pickup 8.1990 Acura Integra 9.1988 Toyota Pickup 10.1991 Nissan Sentra

Car theft is big business here in the U.S. So unless you take the bull by the horns and do everything you can to prevent your vehicle from being stolen, you might just come back to an empty parking space the next time you make a quick run inside the grocery and leave your car idling outside. Common sense - it's the first step. Always lock your vehicle, close windows, the sunroof and take your keys (don't think that car thieves won't be able to figure out where you hid the keys). Leaving your valuables inside your car is a sure way to attract car thieves. Don't be foolish - never leave valuables (including personal documents, car registration, etc.) in plain, open sight. Always park in well-lit areas with plenty of pedestrian traffic. Never leave your car unattended, even if it's "just for a few seconds".

There are devices like car alarm systems, steering wheel locks and more that you can use to protect your car, but it's no guarantee that a determined thief will not try to steal it. Make sure that your vehicle’s doors and door locks are working properly. A simple problematic door handle can easily aid a thief in driving away in your Nissan Sentra, or in your Ford F150. A quick visit to

Auto Parts Inner should solve this problem – but to truly protect your car, vigilance is the key.