Defense Against Crime

03/08/2009

Gone in sixty Seconds -facts on Auto Theft and how to prevent it..

Will you be next?

Imagine coming out of the mall or local shopping center with your purchases in your hand and you can’t locate your car. You thought you knew where you parked it. But now you can’t find it.  Even strangers try to help you and fail to locate it. Your car has been stolen. It happen almost twice every minute to someone. I was watching live5 news the other day and saw the police pulling a stolen car out of the river.  This started me thinking of all the auto theft and car jacking events that I remember in recent years. I remember a mother pulling up to a movie rental place to drop off her movies. She left the car running and her child in the back seat and as she was depositing the movies into the drop slot she saw her car being driven away by a thief, with her child inside.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Uniform Crime Reports, a car or motor vehicle is stolen in the United States an average of every 27 seconds. The probability of a vehicle being stolen was 1 in 207 in 2005. The chances of your being a victim of auto theft is related to what precautions you take, where you live, and the type of car you drive, and of course the immediate need of the thief.

Where you live can directly affect the probability of you becoming a auto theft victim.  Those who live in urban areas and high crime cities are victims of auto theft at higher rates. Port and border cities also continue to be boomtowns for the auto theft business.  Of the top 25 metro areas in the nation for vehicle theft, nearly half are ports or communities with easy access to borders.  Here is the break down by geographic location.

  • Western states accounted for the biggest share of thefts around 36.8 percent, followed by the South at 34.6 percent. The Midwest accounted for 18.5 percent of thefts and the Northeast for 10.2 percent.
  • Nationwide, the 2006 motor vehicle theft rate per 100,000 people was 398.4. The highest rate was reported in the West, 632.1. The rate of motor vehicles stolen was 378.1 in the South, and 332.6 in the Midwest, and 222.3 in the Northeast.
  • Only 12.6 percent of thefts were cleared by arrests in 2006 and 2007.
  • Car jackings occur most frequently in urban areas. They account for only 3.0 percent of all motor vehicle thefts.  If the choice is you or the car, give the thief your car.

The top 10 metro areas with highest auto theft rates in 2008:

  1. Modesto, CA
  2. Laredo, TX
  3. Yakima, WA
  4. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, CA
  5. Bakersfield, CA
  6. Stockton, CA
  7. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV
  8. Albuquerque, NM
  9. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA
  10. Fresno, CA

The top 10 states ranked by number of auto thefts in 2008:

  1. California – Approx. 242,693 auto thefts per year
  2. Texas – Approx. 95,429 auto thefts per year
  3. Florida – Approx. 76,437 auto thefts per year
  4. Arizona – Approx. 54,849 auto thefts per year
  5. Michigan – Approx. 50,017 auto thefts per year
  6. Washington – Approx. 45,899 auto thefts per year
  7. Georgia – Approx. 43,163 auto thefts per year
  8. Illinois – Approx. 37,641 auto thefts per year
  9. Ohio – Approx. 37,425 auto thefts per year
  10. New York- Approx. 32,134 auto thefts per year

The City-by-city comparison  in auto buying habits are reflected in the preferences of auto thieves. For example, American vehicles tend to be the auto thief’s vehicles of choice in Detroit and Chicago; pickups are popular in Albuquerque, Phoenix and Houston; and Japanese models lead the most commonly stolen list in Los Angeles. However, this is no reason for you to let your guard down, if you don’t fit into these categories, you can still be a victim.

Top 10 Most Stolen Autos in 2008

  1. 1995 Honda Civic
  2. 1991 Honda Accord
  3. 1989 Toyota Camry
  4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
  5. 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup
  6. 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup
  7. 1994 Nissan Sentra
  8. 1994 Dodge Caravan
  9. 1994 Saturn SL
  10. 1990 Acura Integra

The good news however is that because of advances in technology, such as license plate readers, national and state crime alert systems, owner-installed theft-deterrent devices,  and tracking/recovery systems, is aiding the recovery of stolen vehicles, and reducing the auto theft rate.

A survey of American drivers conducted in April 2007 on behalf of the National Insurance Crime Bureau and LoJack, a manufacturer of an electronic vehicle tracking and recovery system, found:

  • One-third admit they have left their car while it was running, which makes the vehicle an easy target for theft.
  • 47% don’t always park in a well-lit area.
  • 40% don’t hide their valuables such as cell phones, GPS systems,  or purses. In fact, nearly half leave mail that contain their address in their vehicle, a quarter have left a purse or wallet, and almost a third have left bank statements, all of which can put them at risk for identity theft, or a home robbery.

Here are some common sense tips to reduce your chances of being the next victim.

  1. Keep your car doors locked at all times. NO Matter what.
  2. Park in a well lit and secure area if you can.
  3. Never hid a key on your car with those magnetic key-holders, or leave your keys in your car.
  4. Have an anti-theft device installed on your car. They can range from something as simple as ‘The Club’ to those installed in the engine like the Immobilizer system.
  5. If possible get a vehicle tracking system, to aid in tracking your car if it is stolen.

The locks on steering wheel are not used widely these days because of the trouble of placing the metal lock on the steering every time the car is parked. People easily get worked up by this overhead and wish to get rid of it soon. Another effective device is the immobilizer made by the same people who brought you “The Club”, which on being implanted blocks the car engine, supply of fuels and various other critical sections. On various aspects this particular technology is used by the officials to set up a “bait car” for a thief to be trapped.

Report fraud and vehicle theft to your local law enforcement, as well as the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422). Your call to NICB can be anonymous and you may be eligible for a reward.

By Victor Swindell, owner of PepperEyes.com, a division of Swindell Enterprises. PepperEyes.com is dedicated to assist those people who are unwilling to become a victim and are taking responsibility to protect themselves, their cars, or their possessions .In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

Recommended products
Alarm – Steering Wheel Alarm w/ Remote
Car Immobilizer Level 1
Car Immobilizer Level 3
Portable Car Lock Alarm w/ Remote

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2 Comments

  1. Nice post. Hope that info will be useful for everyone who have read it.

    Like

    Comment by Security Alarm Systems — 04/08/2009 @ 11:47 PM

  2. every 26 seconds, so take a moment to learn how to deter thieves from stealing your car. Motor Car

    Like

    Comment by Motor Car — 09/08/2009 @ 1:41 PM


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