Each year, a list of the most stolen vehicles is published by the Highway Loss Data Institute. Instead of just publishing the 2011 results (something you can find anywhere), we are going to step out on a limb and predict which cars will be pilfered the most in 2012. We will also give you a few tips to help you keep your vehicle off this list. Just as following your car service schedule will keep your vehicle in peak running condition, there are things you can do to keep theft at bay.
Let’s look into the crystal ball and check out the winners for the upcoming year (or losers, depending on how you look at it):
1 – Dodge Charger: The Charger is sleek, stylish, powerful, and a hit with would-be thieves. The HEMI engine alone is a big-ticket item that can easily be sold. The Charger is one of the most expensive vehicles on the road to insure, and for good reason.
2 – Chrysler 300: This beauty has been a “hot” car for a few years now, due in no small part to its reputation as being a “mini-Bentley.” The stylish new look didn’t go unnoticed to car thieves. The 300 is also available with a pricey HEMI engine, making it even more of a target.
3 – Nissan Maxima: The Maxima has been on the list of most stolen cars ever since it was introduced. Theft rates declined in 2011 due to advanced security systems and the trend is expected to continue. Even so, it will still be a preferred target for thieves.
4 – Chevrolet Avalanche: The bed of the Avalanche offers extensive cargo room, as does the spacious interior. Unfortunately, many owners choose to leave valuables in these locations, making the Avalanche a prime target.
5 – GMC Sierra: Owners have given loyalty to the Sierra model for more than a decade and thieves have targeted these vehicles for just as long. The upcoming year promises to be another that includes the GMC Sierra as a prime “chop shop” candidate.
6 – H2 Hummer: A Hummer stands out in a crowd and is regularly packed with high-end goodies and extras. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a quick buck. If you can afford the hundred grand or so that it costs, at least have the sense to park in a secure and locked location.
7 – GMC Yukon: General Motors hits the list again with the spacious Yukon. People buy it because it comes with tons of room, and thieves love it for exactly the same reason. They know that by taking a Yukon they are bound to be getting tons of sporting equipment or luggage as well. It’s just more dollar signs to them when they see a larger vehicle.
8 – Chevrolet Silverado: Pickups don’t often make this list, but 2012 should be the year that all changes. Chevy has done a great job upgrading the security features on their cars, but their trucks have lagged behind. With an open truck bed and lax security, the Silverado has become a headache for insurance companies.
9 – Cadillac Escalade: The Escalade tops the list of most stolen vehicle nearly every year, so why should 2012 be any different? From celebrities to soccer moms, the Cadillac Escalade is a highly sought after status symbol by citizens and crooks alike. They are usually packed with gaming systems, DVD players, and every other imaginable gadget, making it an ideal target.
10 – Ford F-Series: The F-250, F-350 and F-450 4WD trucks all make this list for 2012. This is certainly not the news Ford was looking for this year. The high-quality components and minimal security make these models a frequent target for criminals.
So, there you go. It would be nice if theft rates dropped in 2012, but it’s probably not going to happen. A car is stolen somewhere in the world about every five seconds. The most you can do is try to keep your vehicle from being a statistic, and here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Make sure no valuables are left in plain view through the window.
- Be sure that you park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit area.
- Never leave your keys in the car. This includes not having a Ford car service mechanic leave the car outside with the keys in it for you to pick up after you’ve had a service performed. If you can’t get to the garage in time, just put it off a day; it’s not worth the risk.