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According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, auto theft is a very profitable business, generating nearly $8 billion a year. Despite declining auto theft rates, business continues to grow in the United States due to the ever increasing value of cars.
It's an awful feeling to be a victim of auto theft. According to the FBI, auto theft occurs about every 30 seconds in the United States, so if you are a victim, don't feel alone. Stolen-Property.com is here to help. Stolen-property.com is the largest international auto theft database, it's both free and easy to search and report auto theft.
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Any car can be stolen by professional auto thieves, but if they want yours, make them work for it. Here are some ways to protect yourself from auto theft. The more difficult you make your car to steal, the less likely you will experience auto theft first hand.
These auto theft prevention techniques vary on your vehicle and location. Determine which auto theft prevention is best for you by examining both your budget and personal preferences.
Common sense auto theft prevention
Of all the auto theft prevention techniques, these are the easiest and most inexpensive to deter car thieves. These should be followed even if leaving your car for very a brief time, it takes a professional auto thief less than thirty seconds to steal a car.
Auto theft warning devices
This is either a visible or audible auto theft prevention device to alert thieves your vehicle is protected. Car thieves prefer quick, easy and quite targets and will choose an unprotected car over one that poses difficulties. Popular auto theft prevention devices:
Immobilizing Auto theft Prevention Device
This type of auto theft prevention prevents thieves from hot-wiring the car. These devices either use computer chips in ignition keys or obstruct electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch disables the device. Popular immobilizing devices:
Auto Theft Tracking Devices
Tracking devices emit a signal to the police or tracking center when an auto theft occurs. Tracking devices are very effective in helping the police recover stolen cars and bring auto thieves to justice. Tracking devices use a combination of GPS and wireless technology to track a stolen car. Some systems notify the owner when the car is moved, the car is then tracked with a computer. Popular auto theft tracking devices:
For a more detailed explanation how each each auto theft tracking system works and costs, click here.
Important things to remember:
If your car is left unlocked, the keys left in the car or valuables left in sight, your chance of becoming a victim of auto theft is: 1 in 30
If your car is locked, the keys removed and valuables concealed, chances of becoming an auto theft victim is: 1 in 1000
If your car is locked, the keys removed and valuables concealed with the use of a visible anti-auto-theft device, your chance of being an auto theft victim is: 1 in 30,000
When ever you are involved in an accident, be sure to keep you cool. Some car jackings occur by creating a low impact accident, when the driver pulls over the auto thieves proceed to jack the car. Always pull over in a well lit, well populated area and don't be afraid to call the non-emergency police line to have a squad car come to the scene for both your protection and for an official police report of the incident. This can help for safety, insurance purposes and to avoid being a victim of auto theft.
Auto theft may occur for a number of reasons. Here are some examples of why auto theft happens.
Sell the stolen car
The main reason most cars are stolen is to sell it again. The stolen auto is typically brought across state lines or even across international borders. Then the vehicle identification numbers may be altered or removed, the title and registration forged and the stolen car repainted to avoid detection.
Sell the stolen car's parts
One of the most common reasons auto theft occurs is to sell the parts. Parting out a stolen car can bring a thief up to four times what would be gained by selling the whole car. Auto theft rings will set up shops called "chop shops" where the stolen car will get stipped down for the parts in a matter of minutes. Many times the thieves will partner with dishonest auto repair shops, mechanics and auto body shops to buy the parts at a major discount, only to turn around and charge the customer full price.
To use the stolen car
Sometimes an auto theft is merely to provide transportion. Many times the stolen car is used in other crimes which is why it is imperative to report a car stolen immediately upon discovery. After the stolen car is no longer needed, it is abandoned ir sold before it can be traced to the thief.
Trade the stolen car for drugs
This type of auto theft is often referred to as "cars for crack" because crack is typically the desired drug. The drug addict will leave the car with the dealer for collateral. The dealer will then use the car to run drugs and even commit more crimes. If the car is not returned or it is seized by law enforcement, the drug addict will then report it as a stolen car. If there is an insurance settlement, the drug addict will use the money to purchase more drugs. If the car is returned, the drug addict will then repeat the process for more drugs.
Auto theft for joyriding
Juvniles will commit auto theft for status with friends or simply for the thrill. Mostly the stolen car is abandoned after use, but alamingly more ofter these juvinile thieves are getting invovled with auto theft rings.
Auto theft to commit more crimes
Sometimes auto theft occurs to commit other crimes using the stolen car, for example, drive-by shootings, burglaries or a get away car for armed robberies. The criminals intention is to reduce the chance the crimes commited will be traced back to them by using a stolen car.
Auto theft for insurance fraud
This type of auto theft, referred to as "owner give-up," genearally happens with either leased cars or cars with high mileage with high-mlieage penalty costs. The vehicle owner typically arranges to have the car stolen or simple leaves the car in an area known for a high rate of auto theft. Other times, the vehicle owner will hide the car, sink it in a lake, or torch the it to insure it is a total loos if found. Initially it may be investigated as an auto theft, but if caught, the offender will be charged with felony insurance fraud.
Auto theft for vehicle cloning
This type of auto theft can, at times, be virtually untracable. An auto thief will remove the stolen cars VIN and replace it with a VIN from a car that has been wrecked and purchased from a wrecking yard. A false title, registration and vehicle history are then created for the DMV and the stolen car is sold at full market price, only to be stolen again months later and the whole process repeated. Another type of vehicle cloning is when a thief removes the owner's registration and insurance card, the documents are then used to obtain license plates registered to the victim. If the car is then used in a crime or involved in an accident, the police will come to you thinking the car belongs to you. Iliminating yourself from any inolvement can be a very long and tedious process. The best way to avoid being a victim of this type of cloning is to not keep registration, insurance cards and any other important documents in the car.
Auto Theft In Action
Auto Theft Bait Car - Thief Caught Red Handed
Techniques Of A Professional Auto Theft Ring
According to the the FBI's 2008 Uniform Crime Reports, an auto theft occurs about thirty seconds in the United States. Auto theft rates vary from month to month and geographical location. To see the top ten stolen cars, click here.
According to the FBI's 2008 Uniform Crime Reports, auto theft fell 12.7 percent from 2007 to 2008, with 956,846 auto thefts reported in 2008.
In 2008, only %12 of auto theft cases were solved.
Areas that experienced the highest amount of auto theft for 2008 from highest to lowest: the South %37.8, the West %33.9, the Midwest %18.3 and the Northeast %10.0.
Based on The Department of Justice latest data from 1993 to 2002, car jacking only accounted for %3 of auto thefts and occur mostly in urban areas.
This is the list of top ten states for auto theft from highest to lowest:
These are the top ten cities for auto theft based per capita:
|Rank||Metropolitan Statistical Area||Vehicles stolen||Rate (1)|
|4||San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||22,554||751.53|
|7||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV||13,662||732.25|
|9||San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA||30,735||719.03|
This is a list of the most common ways auto theft occurs. Knowing this can help defend yourself from being a victim.
If you have experienced auto theft, report it to the police immediately. This increases your chance to recover your auto and speeds the insurance compensation process.
Here are some general guidelines to create an auto theft police report:
Auto theft fraud is when the owner of a car reports an auto theft when in reality the owner themselves disposed of the car for insurance claims and / or to get out of car payments. Here are a few examples of auto theft fraud:
The vehicle owner lies about the auto theft then destroys the vehicle to collect an insurance claim. Many times the vehicle reported stolen will be found burned or damaged in secluded areas, sunken in a lake and even at times found buried underground.
30 Day Hold Out
When a vehicle needs extensive repairs, the owner will report the vehicle stolen and hide it for 30 days - long enough for the insurance claim to settle. Once the claim is settled and compensation paid, many times the vehicle is found abandoned.
Export Fraud Scam
Once a bank loan is secured for a new vehicle, an insurance policy is obtained for it. The owner then creates a fraudulent auto theft report, when in reality it was shipped overseas to be sold on the black market. The owner then receives compensation for the insurance policy and profits earned from the black market transactions overseas.
The creation of an artificial title or registration to create insurance on a vehicle that does not exist. An auto theft report is then created to file a fraudulent insurance claim. Antique or luxury vehicles are commonly used in this scheme, producing larger insurance compensation.
If you have experienced auto theft, then you know that terrible thought, "I'm sure I left it right here." Talking with people who have experienced auto theft, they will tell you the importance of stolen vehicle tracking and recovery systems.
Vehicle tracking and recovery systems use a combination of a GPS transmitter in the stolen car for tracking and cellular technology for transmission to and from monitoring centers. However, these do have technological limitations. A GPS requires clear line of sight to at least three satellites to locate the stolen car's position. Hiding the stolen car in a concrete parking structure or something similar blocks the lines of sight. There are sometimes also "dead zones" that cellular phone service doesn't work.
The one stolen car tracking device that is an exception is LoJack which uses FM radio frequency. LoJack also works with police cars specially equipped to hone in on the stolen car. The LoJack system has a 90 percent recovery rate which makes it the preferred system of the police.
Here is a list of stolen vehicle recovery systems and how they work for you to decide whether or not investing in one of these stolen vehicle recovery systems is worth the investment and which on would be right for you.
Factory / Manufacturer Installed Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems
Aftermarket Stolen Vehicle Recovery Systems
Stolen-Property.com has the largest international auto theft database. Police authorities, pawn shops, professional vehicle buyers and sellers, and consumers use our service everyday. It's free to both search for and report a stolen car on the auto theft database and super easy too! For details on how to report a stolen car on Stolen-Property.com, click here.