Published July 10, 2013
| Consumer Reports
We rely on our cars every day to get us where we need to go, but what do you do when your primary mode of transportation disappears? A motor vehicle is stolen every 44 seconds in the United States and July and August are the top two months for vehicle theft. Now a new report finds that after eight years of decline thefts are on the rise again.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released a list of hot spots for vehicle theft for 2012 and found that eight of the 10 regions are in California and the remaining two are in Washington state. Overall the West region--which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming--was most affected with a 10.6 percent increase in thefts over the previous year. Preliminary 2012 FBI figures estimate a 1.3 percent increase in 2012 overall across the country (new FBI data will be released in the fall).
Here are the top 10 regions for theft in 2012
|#6||San Francisco/Oakland/Hayward, CA|
|#7||San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA|
|#9||Spokeane/Spokeane Valley, WA|
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft is due to driver error and only about half the vehicles are recovered. The most popular items that attract thieves are the engine, transmission, air bags, radios, GPS navigation systems, iPods, laptops, and purses.
Driver assistance systems like GM's OnStar and Hyundai BlueLink can help recover stolen vehicles through tracking systems that can notify owners and police, slow down the vehicle, and immobilize it. If you don't have those systems, there are other ways owners can take control of their vehicle's safety. Here are a few tips to help you prevent your car from being on the hot list.
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