If you have ever walked to your car and noticed it either gone or broken into, then you are well aware of the sinking feeling that hits your stomach. If you have not been the victim of car theft, then consider yourself lucky. Some unfortunate people have actually had their cars broken into or stolen multiple times. The state with the highest rate of car theft is without a doubt California. Oakland and San Francisco have the largest rates among any cities within the U.S.
The type of car you drive also changes the likelihood that your car will be broken into or stolen. There are certain models that thieves know to be easy targets, or that have valuable pieces that can easily be taken from them. These cars are all older models dating up to 2002. Vehicles that are frequently targeted are Hondas Accord and Civic, Toyota Camry, Dodge Pickups and Caravans, and Fords Taurus, Explorer, and Pickups. Theft obviously is not limited to these vehicles, but they are more commonly targeted. So much so that in the U.S a vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds. Southern and Western states in the U.S have the highest rate of theft, where the Midwest and Northeastern states have significantly lower rates.
Now certain technologies have been implemented which has decreased the rate at which cars are stolen. Statistics show that thefts have decreased by 12% year after year since 2008. The reason for this are the new anti theft technologies being used nowadays. There are now smart keys that contain digital security microchips which cannot be duplicated, well not duplicated yet at least. Vehicles that have On-Star are able to track a vehicles location, which makes finding a stolen vehicle simple. There are even certain high end tires that contain GPS micro chips in them which can also be tracked in case the tires themselves are stolen.
The resale of car components has exceeded that of actual car thefts recently, mostly due the use of anti-theft technologies. There are certain components that are targeted more frequently, this depends on two factors. One being the ease at which the component can be stolen. The other is the demand that is present for certain components.
Airbags are commonly targeted nowadays, according to the FBI, around 75,000 are stolen every year. The reason for this is a stolen airbag can fetch around a $1000 and are rather simple to remove from vehicles. Another reason for their popularity among thieves is that often manufacturers supply does not meet the demand. So When airbags are on back order, there is an obvious increase in the theft of airbags.
Car stereos have traditionally been targeted by thieves more than any other vehicle component. Though this has become harder due to the use of electronic security. Also, the amount a thief can fetch for a car stereo is not as much as can be gained from other components. Not to mention, many people simply use other music devices besides a car stereos CD player. Ipods and smart phones are commonly used to store and listen to music, they are also usually taken with the person when they leave the vehicle. This leaves little for thieves to gain in that department.
GPS devices and DVD systems have been targeted more due to their popularity and at times high cost. Certain types of high end headlights have also been targeted. The reason for these components being targeted is that with the use of the internet, selling them has never been easier. There is no better outlet for the resale of goods, whether legit or stolen, than online. This also makes it difficult to recognize whether what you are buying online is stolen or not.
Tires, rims, and even breaks have been in the past, and will certainly be in the future a common target for thieves. A set of new tires can cost $1000, a nice pair of rims can cost tens of thousands. So it is easy to see why they would be targeted, as the ease of theft is no harder than changing a tire. While the payout is quite significant in comparison to other components.
If your car has been broken into, you will probably be searching for an auto mechanic, which you must be careful of as well. Auto repair shops have been known to steal components themselves, or say what you have is damaged and order a replacement. They then resell the component taken from your vehicle.
So if you need auto repair services, be sure you trust where you are taking your vehicle. Check online and see what the customer reviews say about the business. Inform yourself because thieves dont always linger on the streets, they can at times be business themselves.