Since the months of July and August are the worst months for vehicle thefts, AutoGuide has assembled a list of tips that, if followed, may help you keep your car.
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released some data on stolen cars, revealing that only 52 percent of stolen vehicles are recovered.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the national rate of car theft rose 1.3 percent in 2012 after declining for eight consecutive years.
According to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Christmas Day has the lowest theft figure for a holiday while New Year’s Day is the busiest official holiday for vehicles thieves.
Despite all of the measures currently in place to prevent vehicle theft, the FBI says that a vehicle is stolen in the United States every 43 seconds.
A National Insurance Crime Bureau study shows that overall car theft in the United States declined in 2011, and is continuing on a downward slope.
With the advent of advanced in-car technology comes the downfalls of hackers looking to do malicious things. Some experts are already expressing concern that the use of advanced infotainment systems by automakers worldwide could leave new-generation vehicles open to hacking.
Recently a pair of scientists from the University of San Diego and the University of Washington were successful in hacking into a vehicle’s safety system through its infotainment setup, revealing a clear vulnerability with the technology. And even though infotainment such as the vehicle’s navigation and Bluetooth are built to be separate from a vehicle’s safety system, this doesn’t mean that they’re invulnerable to hacking.
The concerns aren’t that hackers can take full control of a vehicle, but could unlock or even start a car; but worse, brakes and throttles are now being controlled by computers so it could be possible that those systems can be compromised as well.
As we all know with all the rampant hacking that has been going on recently, building security into any new-generation technology is difficult. Hackers will always find a way; and unless vehicle manufacturers are willing to update their software and firmware on a regular basis, there’s a strong potential that coming up with a single standard for cyber security will not be easy.
Worst of all, NHTSA isn’t equipped to test today’s advanced vehicle electronic systems.
[Source: Detroit News]
Often times we only hear the bad side of the story: cars getting stolen, thieves running off with your precious property, etc. But sometimes it’s nice to hear that there’s a happy ending to some of thefts thanks to Lojack.
Lojack helps retrieve countless vehicles a year, but some of the incidents are more peculiar than others. In Atlanta, a thief successfully disabled the OnStar GPS system on a stolen Cadillac Escalade, but that didn’t affect Lojack. The company, with the assistance of the local police, were able to recover the stolen vehicle.
Another interesting one was a thief that had stolen a Lexus at gunpoint from a salesman, which Lojack had no troubles finding. Or even better yet, one man was smart enough to have Lojack on his Honda Civic, but wasn’t smart enough to say no to taking a check when he sold it. Thankfully, Lojack was able to get the car back once the check bounced.
Lojack in 2011 even helped recover 30 cars that were stolen from a Southern California used car dealership. Even though only one of the vehicles was equipped with Lojack, they were able to recover all 30. Similarly, a Honda Accord Crosstour was found through Lojack, revealing a ring of stolen cars that were on their way in shipping containers to other countries.
In closing, this year was a good year for those that have Lojack. The company was vital in closing chop shops, breaking up an international car theft ring, tracking down a murder suspect in a stolen car, and even deterred the kidnapping of a four year old girl.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Before he was able to act, Police in Toronto, Canada arrested a man who planned a daring heist straight from the plot of the “Gone in 60 Seconds” Hollywood blockbuster.
Andrzej Zalewski was charged with numerous counts of break and enter, theft over $5,000 and possession of stolen property after he was found with 99 sets of car keys to vehicles worth $4 million.
According to Det. Paul LaSalle, Zalewski and an accomplice had a “shopping list” of cars, and had been canvasing neighborhoods, breaking into homes and snatching keys to vehicles. Keys in Zalewski’s possession when he was arrested included those to a Lexus, Range Rover and even a Maserati. All cars on the list were 2011 models.
Police are confident Zalewski has ties to organized crime, which is known for planning such heists where cars are custom ordered for clients overseas.
Either stealing a car has become a lot more difficult or the thieves just threw in the towel and decided to try their hand at another career. One thing’s for sure – car thefts were down in 2009.
According to the FBI’s 2009 crime statistics released this week, vehicle thefts dropped 17 percent from 2008. The numbers fell 35.7 percent when compared to 2005 data.
But this doesn’t mean you can stop locking your car when you leave it. There were still 600,000 vehicles stolen last year. High on the “to steal” list is the 1994 Honda Accord for some strange reason (better gas millage perhaps – even thieves are thrifty these days).
But with good news comes some bad news. News from LoJack states that the national recovery rate for stolen cars is at its lowest point in 25 years. This means that 43.2 percent of vehicles stolen in 2009 were never recovered.
According to LoJack, these vehicles are typically stolen by professional thieves. They find their way to chop shops to be stripped down to their components. By stripping the cars down, thieves can make two to four times the vehicle’s actual worth.
Transported across the U.S. boarder, thousands of stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes or resold as used vehicles, most often to unsuspecting customers. Damn those Canadians and their love of ’94 Accords!
You’ve decided to buy a new car, complete with all the high-techy trimmings. But does that make your car vulnerable to hackers?
Your new ride probably isn’t a high-priority target for hackers, but security experts believe that car hacking is going to become more mainstream. This is thanks to new wireless technologies and a dependence on computers to make cars safer, more energy efficient and modern.
Some of these innovations are put in place to improve safety. Systems like the wireless tire pressure monitoring systems use a radio frequency transmitter to communicate to the central car computer over the Controller-Area Network (CAN). Unfortunately, researchers at the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University found this system to lack security after testing two tire pressure monitoring systems.
“While spoofing low-tire-pressure readings does not appear to be critical at first, it will lead to a dashboard warning and will likely cause the driver to pull over and inspect the tire,” said the report.”This presents ample opportunities for mischief and criminal activities, if past experience is any indication.”
There’s also been research to test security problems with keyless entry systems in cars, as well as recent reports that outline the risks that come with computerized internal car networks. In one report, researchers from the University of Washington and University of California, San Diego, tested how easy it would be to hack a vehicle’s system by connecting a laptop to the onboard diagnostics port that they then wirelessly controlled via a second laptop in another car. They were they able to remotely lock the brakes and the engine, change the speedometer display, as well as turn on the radio and the heat and honk the horn.
Other systems that may be at risk to car hackers include the Engine Control Unit and infotainment systems, which include the SYNC system and Bluetooth technology.
You know how car alarms go off and no one pays any attention to them? Sure, they’re annoying, but now that we’re used to them, it just becomes part of the urban white noise. Forget installing a car alarm – if you want to protect your car against theft, just paint it pink.
We’re not sure if the girlish paint job would scare off car-jackers from taking your Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 or Audi R8. But the one thing we are sure about is that car thieves are in the business of making money, and they know that the most popular colors will bring in the highest resale value. Here’s the breakdown of the most popular colors in 2010: White came in first with 20 percent of new car consumers picking this color, followed by 17 percent in black and silver, and 13 percent chose blue. Even though a white and a yellow car cost the same price, the resale value of the white car can be up to $1,000 more.
So the colors that will keep those pesky thieves away from your car are yellow, gold, brown, beige and other bright colors (like pink). They have a lower resale value, and are more likely to stick out if a car thief is trying to make a clean get-away.
And there’s a study to back this information up. A study in the Netherlands detailed car thieves’ preferences – from 2004 to 2008, the most commonly colored vehicle stolen was black, followed by gray/silver cars. And what about the 109 pink cars they used in the study? You guessed it – not one was stolen, proving that a bright and uncommon color may be as effective deterrent as an expensive security system. Ben Vollaard, who conducted the research, says, “If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat color is not too high – or if someone actually enjoys it – then buying deterrence through an uncommon car color may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car Audi R8 device.”
[Source: Family Home Security]
In the last year, police in Australia’s Yarra Range have had to deal with a 10% increase in car theft. The Australian government has decided to place partial responsibility for this with its citizens, by imposing fines for unattended vehicles left unlocked. Starting today, motorists who do not lock their cars can face a fine of $358 AU.
According to Yarra Range Traffic Enforcement officer Sergeant John Morgan, ‘‘It puts our crime stats up, it wastes police man hours in investigating the crimes in the first instance and ultimately it will put up insurance premiums.”
The new laws affect all drivers, and include the provisions that if someone under 16 is left in a parked car, the keys must be removed from the ignition. Windows may be lowered up to 2 cm for ventilation, but if left down any more than that, the car will be considered “unsecured,” and subject to the fine.
Included in the bill is a $234 AU fine for littering cigarette butts on the streets of Melbourne. Local government officials cite cigarettes as the number one cause of litter in the city; over 11,000 butts are picked up off Melbourne streets every day.