Rising number of criminals targeting used cars as prices increase 

More and more consumers are turning to used cars due to higher vehicle costs. However, with the price of used cars at a record high, the number of thefts has also risen. 

A recent report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found that, following a record increase in used car prices last year, the number of vehicle thefts increased by 8%.

David Glawe, CEO of NICB, said: “Crime is a business, and business is good. Used car values are at historical highs. 

We have seen a nearly 35% increase in used car values over the last two years due to supply chain issues and inflation. Stolen cars can be shipped overseas and resold or broken down for valuable used car parts here in the U.S.”

Which cars are targeted by thieves? 

In its report, the NICB said that the most common passenger vehicles stolen in 2021 were  Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC full-size pick-up models. Some cars were targeted for parts; but, increasingly, cars are sold to criminals as they are as prices are so high. 

Here’s how the list breaks down:

  1. Chevrolet pickup 2004 model 
  2. Ford pickup 2006 model
  3. Honda Civic 2000 model 
  4. Honda Accord 1997 model
  5. Toyota Camry 2007 model
  6. GMC pickup 2005 model 
  7. Nissan Altima 2020 model
  8. Honda CR-V 2000 model
  9. Jeep Cherokee 2018 model 
  10. Toyota Corolla 2020 model 

How can consumers protect themselves? 

As car thefts continue to rise, the NICB recommends that owners take extra steps to protect themselves, such as: 

  • Always parking vehicles in well-lit areas that are visible to pedestrians 
  • Always checking the car is locked and keep the keys in a safe place 
  • Never leave valuables in a car – especially somewhere they can be seen
  • Use an immobilizing or tracking device if possible 
  • Report a theft as quickly as possible, as this gives the thief less time to break down the car for parts and it improves the chance of recovery 

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