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Do Cars Get Stolen Anymore?

Exploring Automotive Theft – History & Facts

Did you know that the first recorded instance of car theft dates back to 1896 when a Benz was stolen in France? Since then, the rise of the automobile industry has led to a parallel rise in automotive theft. Early car thefts were primarily crimes of opportunity, as vehicles were easy to steal due to the lack of sophisticated security systems. Automotive theft has long been a concern for vehicle owners around the world. However, as technology has advanced, so has the security of our automobiles. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the historical trends in automotive theft, as well as a look at the current state of car theft and the role that technology plays in preventing it.

Early Days of Car Theft

Can you imagine a time when stealing cars was a piece of cake? The early days of automotive theft were characterized by crimes of opportunity, as rudimentary security systems made vehicles easy targets. With the automobile industry’s rapid growth, the number of cars on the road surged, giving rise to a parallel increase in car thefts.

20th-Century Car Theft Trends

What happened next? As we moved into the 1960s and 1970s, car theft rates skyrocketed. With more cars on the road, thieves had a larger pool of potential targets, leading to a peak in vehicle thefts in 1991, with over 1.6 million reported cases in the United States alone. But how did this change in the following years?

Current Car Theft Trends and Statistics – A Decline in Car Theft Rates

Is car theft still as rampant as before? Not quite. Since the 1990s, car theft rates have been on a steady decline, thanks to the advent of advanced security systems and heightened law enforcement efforts. However, thieves have adapted their tactics, focusing on specific makes and models that are easier to steal.

Thieves’ Preferred Targets

You may be wondering which cars are most at risk. Recent trends show that thieves often target popular cars like Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Nissan Altima. In some cases, gangs like the “Kia Boyz” gained infamy for their expertise in stealing Kia and Hyundai vehicles (source: Automotive News). So, what makes these cars particularly attractive to thieves, and how do they manage to bypass modern security systems?

How GPS Tracking Is Reducing Car Theft

Do cars get stolen anymore? Yes, but the number of reported car thefts continues to decline according to the FBI. Roughly 722,000 automobiles were stolen in 2019, which was 4% less than the previous year. In fact, car theft statistics have been in a downtrend over the last 28 years according to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Many experts attribute this decline to the ubiquitous tracking technology that allows car owners to quickly locate a vehicle the moment it is stolen. So let’s take a closer look at GPS car trackers and how they are helping people and businesses recover stolen vehicles!

Preventing Car Motor Vehicle Thefts

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Catch Car Thieves With GPS Vehicle Tracking

If you leave your car doors unlocked, park in dark areas, or frequently drive-in “high risk” areas, there is a stronger likelihood you might be targeted by a car thief. Cars are stolen by opportunists most of the time, meaning an easy target or vehicle without a car alarm. This is why motorists need to protect their automobiles with tools such as GPS trackers.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car thieves are approximately 63% more likely to be caught when a GPS vehicle tracker is installed on a vehicle, and the recovery rate of that stolen vehicle is over 90%! 

Additional benefits of using GPS trackers include receiving a more affordable monthly auto insurance premium, a roadside assistance feature, and the ability to unlock car doors if you lock your car keys in a vehicle. 

Protecting Your Valuable Items

Everyone would give their first preference to theft prevention and second preference to recovering stolen goods. Some GPS tracking devices effectively prevent theft and help with recovering stolen goods. Suppose, for example, you want to make sure a container you filled with valuable company assets arrives at its destination in a timely manner. With vehicle tracking technology (using a live tracker system), you can track the shipment in real-time. This means that you can know where your shipment is at all times and exactly how long it stays at each location. This information will help you act decisively. If the truck goes off course or stays in a location longer than it should, you can take appropriate action to resolve the problem quickly.

GPS tracking systems tie directly into a vehicle’s controlling computer. Many of these systems have the ability to remotely control the vehicle. If this system is live, you may be able to stop a stolen vehicle cold in its tracks by turning off the ignition remotely. Many companies are turning to GPS vehicle tracking technology for its asset tracking ability.

Why you may wonder, should my company invest valuable capital into a GPS tracking system? Investing a small amount of capital in GPS monitoring devices and an asset tracking system could save your company thousands of dollars in stolen goods. Purchasing a real time GPS tracker device is much cheaper than replacing a container, vehicle, or another valuable asset. The potential benefits greatly outweigh the cost. To put it a little more practice, a basic hard-wired fleet tracking device costs a couple of hundred dollars plus installation. Compare the cost of the GPS to the cost of the vehicle in which it is placed ($15,000 and up). Investing a couple of hundred dollars could prevent that vehicle from being stolen or help to recover it after it is stolen and abandoned. GPS tracking systems are a good investment for individuals and companies. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Cars Are Most Frequently Targeted By Thieves?

Thieves often target popular cars like the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Nissan Altima. In some cases, they specifically target Hyundai and Kia vehicles, known for being easier to steal (source: Automotive Week).

How Do Thieves Steal Cars With Keyless Entry Systems?

Thieves use relay attacks, which involve electronic devices intercepting the signal from a key fob, allowing them to gain access and start the car without the actual key (source: Insurance Company).

What Are Some Simple Tips To Protect My Car From Theft?

Invest in gap insurance and homeowners insurance to protect your car and belongings. Additionally, consider using steering wheel locks, wheel locks, and installing a reliable car alarm to enhance your car’s security. You can read more about car theft prevention tips here

Are Sports And Performance Cars More Likely To Be Stolen?

While sports and performance cars can be attractive targets, thieves often focus on more common, popular cars such as Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to their higher demand in the black market and easier access to replacement parts.

How San I Stay Informed About Car Theft Trends And Prevention Methods?

Follow automotive news, car news, and consult car buying guides to stay updated on the latest car security advancements, car deals, and popular models that thieves might be targeting.

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