According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the state of California leads the nation in auto thefts involving sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs). This data reflects vehicle thefts that occurred between January 2008 and June 2012.
Which vehicles are at highest risk of being stolen?
The report outlines that the Ford Escape is the primary vehicle of choice, followed by the Chevy Tahoe, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Edge. This statistical data only refers to SUVs and CUVs since thieves favor different vehicles when going after passenger cars.
How many thefts were reported in California during this time period?
A grand total of 3,003 SUVs and CUVs were reported stolen in the four-year period. Thefts were most rampant in 2011, when 1,136 reports were made. In 2012, the number of reported thefts appears to have been on track to surpass these figures.
What happens to the stolen vehicles?
In its analytical report, the NICB warns that 157 SUVs and CUVs were not recovered. (This places California third in the nation when it comes to unrecovered SUVs and CUVs.) These automobiles are thought to "have been targeted by sophisticated organized theft rings which dismantle stolen vehicles for parts, VIN switch them to resell to unsuspecting buyers, or export them to other countries."
How does California rank overall for vehicle theft?
Noting that across the nation some 730,000 vehicles are stolen each year, Motoramic reports that California has 12 cities listed in the top 20 automotive theft hot spots across the nation. Leading the nation is Fresno, followed by Modesto, Bakersfield, San Francisco and Oakland, Stockton, Vallejo-Fairfield, Visalia-Porterville, Sacramento, Riverside, San Diego, El Centro and San Jose-Sunnyvale.
Which Californians are at risk of having a car stolen?
Drivers of high-target autos, SUVs and CUVs are at a higher risk of having a vehicle stolen. The California Highway Patrol tells KESQ-TV that another target group includes vehicle owners who leave their keys in the car. Living in an affluent area, too, increases a Californian's risk of becoming a car theft victim. Moreover, data supports that it is not just the Central Valley where car theft is running rampant. Southern California is the area where "more than 52 percent of vehicle thefts in the state occur."
How do Californians attempt to protect their rides from being stolen?
NBC Bay Area reports on steering wheel locks, which make vehicles unattractive to would-be car thieves. Another measure used by some residents is a detachable steering wheel.
Sylvia Cochran is a Los Angeles-area resident with a firm finger on the pulse of California politics. Talk radio junkie, community volunteer and politically independent, she scrutinizes the good and the bad from both sides of the political aisle.