"Hot" Wheels

Hot Wheels

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, following were the most frequently stolen vehicles from 2012:

  1. Honda Accord
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  5. Toyota Camry
  6. Dodge Caravan
  7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
  8. Acura Integra
  9. Nissan Altima
  10. Nissan Maxima

Although the FBI is predicting a 1.3 percent increase in 2012 vehicle thefts over 2011’s number—reversing an eight-year trend—the overall vehicle theft picture is still positive. The peak year for vehicle thefts was 1991 with 1,661,738. If the FBI’s preliminary 2012 vehicle theft estimate holds, there will have been roughly 724,672 thefts. That’s a national decrease of over 50 percent since 1991 with many states seeing even better numbers.

NICB’s four layers of protection are:

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:  Having and 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 vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be 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. Some systems employ “telematics” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

Considering a used vehicle purchase? Check out VINCheckSM, a free vehicle history service for consumers. Since 2005, NICB has offered this limited service, made possible by its participating member companies. Check it out at: www.nicb.org/vincheck.

Anyone with information concerning vehicle theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or by visiting www.nicb.org.