How To Get Your Car Stolen and Other Good Advice

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Insurance

Every 42 seconds, a car is stolen in the United States.  I know sometimes people wish their car would be stolen, particularly if it’s costing too much to repair, but did you know that the odds were 1 in 186 of your wish actually becoming a reality?

The car insurance industry, through, came up with those and other “fun” facts about car theft in the U.S.

Did you know that car theft results in an annual property loss of $5.2 billion? Yeah, it’s boat load of money and we all pay for it with increased car insurance premiums. Or how about the fact that one half of stolen cars are simply left unlocked, inviting a would be thief inside. Is it that hard to lock your car or are people too distracted to bother?

In the past, I’ve posted the annual list of 10 most stolen vehicles, and as usual, it’s an informative read.

The 1994 Honda Accord takes top honors again in the insurance industry’s list of Top 10 Stolen Cars. It’s a testament to the popularity and longevity of the Accord. That may be good or bad, depending on your view.


The current Top 10 Stolen Cars are:

  1. 1994 Honda Accord
  2. 1995 Honda Civic
  3. 1991 Toyota Camry
  4. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup Truck
  5. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup Truck
  6. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup Truck
  7. 2000 Dodge Caravan
  8. 1994 Acura Integra
  9. 2002 Ford Explorer
  10. 1994 Ford Taurus

I asked if the website had statistics specifically for Southern California, but they didn’t.  Still, there are so many of the cars on the list that are extremely popular and common in the Greater Los Angeles area that I’m sure the Top 10 So Cal list wouldn’t look too different from the national list.

I frequently read the Crime Blotter for the West Hollywood area and many of the behaviors on the infographic sound very familiar. For example, many cars get broken into because the driver leaves valuable stuff like a purse, wallet, iPhone or portable GPS device in full view and often the reports will say that the cars were unlocked!  It seems so obvious to hide stuff or take it with you and lock your car, but people are busy or distracted and they forget these sensible precautions.

I also found something on the stupid list that I have done many times without a second thought — and I see all the time at the West Hollywood 90069 Post Office.  I leave my car running while I drop off a letter or check the mailbox. I’m only out of the car for a few seconds and the car is always in sight, but I probably shouldn’t do it.

One more thing. Poor Fresno. As if it wasn’t already saddled with the reputation as “the armpit of California” or loathed as the long-time home of the regional IRS Service Center,  it is also the national car theft capital.  Condolences, my friend. I’ll try to think of you as just one possible stop on the way to Yosemite and everyone loves Yosemite, right?

Here’s the introduction to the infographic from the website:

If you’ve ever worried about getting your car stolen, you’re certainly not alone. In the US, a car gets stolen about once every 42 seconds, and no matter how comprehensive your auto insurance plan is, a stolen car can be a huge headache.

Chances are you take all the usual precautions to keep your car from being driven away, but you’d be surprised how many people aren’t quite as careful with their vehicles. From leaving doors unlocked to keys in the ignition, plenty of forgetful behaviors can contribute to making car theft that much easier.

The following infographic offers a twist on the subject: You know how not to get your car stolen, but have you ever considered all the different behaviors that can make getting your car stolen a reality?

It might sound ridiculous to you, but in fact, plenty of the habits and forgetful behaviors practiced by car owners everywhere start to make it seem like many cars that get stolen were just asking for it.

There are surprising contributors to car theft as well, from what state you live in to what kind of car you’re driving. Some factors that make your car liable to be stolen are obvious, and others may be more unexpected.

If you’ve ever wondered how cars get stolen, read on!

If you haven’t figure it out, is an industry-sponsored educational website acting as a insurance quote and referral service.  In other words, a sales tool.  I don’t endorse the group and they aren’t paying me anything to post this information. I just thought it was a great graphic with interesting, funny and disturbing facts.


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