The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released some data on stolen cars, revealing that only 52 percent of stolen vehicles are recovered.
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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), a non-profit organization created by the insurance industry to address insurance-related crime, publishes an annual report called Hot Wheels to identify America’s 10 most stolen vehicles. This year, the NICB introduced a special issue called Hot Wheels Classics, which focuses on a specific model with historical significance.
For its first Classics report, NCIB had chosen to go with the iconic Ford Mustang Pony Car. Although Memphis Raines could never steal the “Eleanor” Shelby Mustang GT500 without engaging in a wild car chase, NCIB’s records reported that thieves have successfully stolen a total of 611,093 Mustangs from 1964 to 2011. While data for each year is available, years prior to 1981 may not be accurate as effective vehicle identification numbers (VIN) protocols were not formalized until 1981, according to NCIB.
Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized VIN in 1981, the NCIB indicated that a total of 411,155 Mustangs have been reported stolen through 2011. The most thefts occurred in 1981 when 20,708 Mustangs were stolen. In 2011, the number of thefts have fallen to 4,347.
From 2001-2011, the past decade indicated that the model year which suffered the most thefts is the year 2000 Mustang at a total of 7,085, followed by the 1995 model year at 6790 thefts, and then the 1998 Mustang at 5394 thefts. All in all, the top 10 most stolen model years concentrated on Mustangs produced from 1989 to 2004. What’s more, the top 10 most stolen model years alone account for nearly 50 percent of all Mustang thefts that have occurred in the past decade.
To help Mustang owners to protect their prized pony cars, NCIB suggests owners to start with a little common sense by locking the car before leaving it on the street. Theft deterrent technologies such as warning devices and immobilizing devices can further improve upon the vehicle’s security. Finally, if a Mustang manages to get stolen anyway, a tracking device will dramatically increase its chances of recovery.
GALLERY: Ford Mustang GT
Maybe it’s the price tag. Maybe it’s the chrome. Regardless of the reason, there’s a big risk that your Escalade won’t be making home.
For the fourth year running, the iconic Cadillac SUV topped the list of vehicles most likely to be stolen. Thankfully, GM isn’t sitting idly by while their loyal mix of suburban socialites and grill-sporting rappers get their prized rides snatched by car thieves— at least not anymore. In August GM announced that the 2012 Escalade would sport spiffed up security features to fend off fiends in the act. Details around those features finally came to light today in a press release.
“The goal is to make the Escalade a very difficult target for thieves without any added inconvenience for customers,” Bill Biondo, General Motors’ global leader for vehicle theft prevention told CarScoop. “The new systems work in the background and few people realize they are there, but they are strong added protections.”
Those added protection measures include a standard encrypted key system that prevents drive-away thefts and an improved column-lock system that makes pushing the trucks onto flatbeds almost impossible. Owners can also opt to pay more for a system that senses changes in the vehicle’s angle as would happen during a tow-away or flatbed theft and triggers an alarm, a shock-sensing system that detects “shocks” like breaking glass and finally a wheel-locking system to keep your Escalade from ending up on cinder blocks while you shop.
A truck containing a teleprompter and audio gear used by President Barack Obama was stolen in Virginia, prompting questions about security lapses.
The gear, estimated at about $200,000, was parked in a van at a Virginia hotel parking lot ahead of Obama’s visit to the area. The van was said to be carrying audio equipment, podiums and even the Presidential seal, which only Obama is allowed to stand behind. The truck was eventually recovered, but details about the equipment’s status has not been made public.
The truck was said to be unmarked but wearing government tags, and observers are questioning whether this was simply a random vehicle theft that happened to be carrying important cargo, or whether the goods were specifically targeted by thieves.
A Salt Lake City, Utah, rental car company had a bit of trouble recovering a 2009 Ford Explorer they’d loaned to 42 year old Jennifer Marshall Hansen of Sandy City, Utah, who failed to return the vehicle that was scheduled for September 1.
According to court papers, an Affordable Rent-A-Car employee used Facebook to “friend” Jennifer and then arranged a date to meet her. Jennifer agreed and drove to the meeting in the SUV she had loaned, effectively cooperating in her own capture.
Now, Jennifer Marshall Hansen faces a second-degree felony court of theft. If convicted, Hansen could get as much as 15 years behind bars. Quite a steep penalty for an overdue rental.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its Hot Wheels report today, listing the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examins vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center to determine the most reported stolen cars.
Domestic vehicles have become more popular to thieves over their import counterparts on the list for the first time since 2002. The 1999 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup and 1997 Ford F-150 broke into the top five which was the most astonishing news because these places are usually held by small Japanese cars. The most stolen vehicles in the United States for 2010 include:
- 1994 Honda Accord
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- 1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup
- 2004 Dodge Ram
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 1999 Ford Taurus
The good news is that overall, vehicle thefts are on a downward trend. Initial 2010 FBI crime statistics point to a 7.2 percent reduction over the thefts posted in 2009. If these numbers stay their course when the FBI produces the final statistics later this year, 2010 will post the fewest vehicle thefts since 1967.
A brigade of drivers for the North Korean military have been arrested for stealing vehicles belonging to the military and selling them off for parts so that the drivers could keep their own personal vehicles running and filled with gasoline.
According to the blog DailyNK, the stolen vehicles were used to transport people and cargo due to a lack of adequate transportation in the isolated Communist country. Having a private car in the “Hermit Kingdom” is a very big deal, and the drivers were eager to maintain this privilege by any means necessary.
One unnamed source is quoted by DailyNK as saying “An official’s cars projects his pride, so if a driver cannot run his car properly even on condition of having no gas or parts, it is difficult to hold on to that position.” The drivers apparently thwarted any investigation into the impropriety by having party officials interfere with the investigation, and parked the vehicles on army bases where civilian investigators were prohibited from entering.
How’s this for making a couple of extra buck on the side. According to reports, a gang of 18 workers at BMW‘s plant in Munich stole up to €3 million ($4 million U.S.) worth of auto parts from the German automaker for years. The thieves would then sell their ill-gotten booty through Internet auctions.
These workers would stop the lines for fake quality control checks and make off with the goods. The gang stole everything from blank keys to wheel covers to gear sticks, and the most lucrative item turned out to be reselling seats.
They were caught by BMW’s own internal investigators discovered the thievery and passed it along to local police. The gang allegedly transferred their profits to foreign bank accounts, partly in Turkey and at least three ex-employees are currently in custody.
[Source: The Local]
The Detroit-area wheel thieves have struck again, this time liberating the giant chrome 20″ rims off of Mayor Dave Bing’s GMC Yukon Denali.
The SUV, which police say is used by Bing’s family, was allegedly parked in a secure lot at Bing’s condominium. No other vehicles were targeted, and a replacement set of dubs were summoned via tow truck.
Ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick previously made headlines for leasing expensive SUVs on the taxpayer’s dime, while an Autoguide contributor recently had the wheels stolen off of a Lincoln MKT while visiting the city. Detroit and full-size SUVs seem to be a bad combination.
[Source: ClickOn Detroit]
Without wheels. When somebody says that, it usually means they haven’t got a car. For yours truly last week, it meant literally that. A trip to Detroit in a brand new Lincoln MKT press loaner was the highlight of a rather miserable seven days.
Having left the MKT in the parking lot of a hotel in the Detroit suburb of Livonia (next to a Mustang GT I might add), I awoke the next morning to find it on cinder blocks, stripped of its shiny 20-inch wheels and tires. The cops were called and a report filed.
When Tim, from Great Lakes towing, showed up with his Chevy Kodiak and flatbed to take the car to the dealership for some new rims and rubber (arranged by Ford), he simply stated that, “this stuff happens all the time, I get around two calls a day on stripped cars. Some people will take anything, mirrors, headlights you name it,” he said. “Welcome to Detroit.”