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Category:  Automobiles

True Facts About Car Theft

By Howard Lancaster

Car-theft. It's bigger than we think.

Do you know anyone that's had their car stolen? Have you had yours stolen?

Here are some interesting facts........ The top 10 cities to get your car stolen in 2006 were:

1. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV 22,415

2. Stockton, CA 7,046

3. Visalia-Porterville, CA 4,238

4. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale, AZ 39,535

5. Modesto, CA 5,081

6. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, WA 31,231

7. Sacramento/Arden/Arcade/Roseville,CA 19,558

8. Fresno, CA 8,363

9. Yakima, WA 2,155 10. Tucson, AZ 8,508

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

5 of the top 10 are in California ..... interesting eh ? As these numbers increase so do our insurance rates, especially if you live in California I'm sure.

Want to know the most stolen vehicles of 2006?

1. 1995 Honda Civic

2. 1991 Honda Accord

3. 1989 Toyota Camry

4. 1997 Ford F150 Series

5. 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup

6. 1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup

7. 1994 Nissan Sentra

8. 1994 Dodge Caravan

9. 1994 Saturn SL

10. 1990 Acura Integra

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau.

As you can see imports fair much worse over domestics. Look at the model years, in 2006, 8 of those top 10 were 10 or more years old. These cars have been consistent top sellers for many years and some of their parts are interchangeable. Thieves dismantle them for their components.

So driving an older car, especially an import, doesn't seem to make you less of a target, contrarily it seems to make you more of a target.

What are manufacturers doing about any of this ? Legislation back in 1984 started requiring manufacturers to stamp identifying numbers on major car components, making it easier to trace parts taken from vehicles stolen for dismantling. The Act also required that vehicles be made available for inspection prior to export and expanded U.S. Customs officials' powers of inspection and arrest in response to the growing international nature of motor vehicle theft.

In 1985, the Department of Transport started requiring that for post 1986 models, 14 major parts of these vehicles be inscribed with a 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN). Unfortunately they had to relax the rules for imports.

New Technology: Insurers and organizations such as the NICB plainly state that manufacturers and consumers need to keep ahead of increasingly sophisticated auto thieves. Even though stamping VIN's is a legislative requirement, some manufacturers go a step further by spraying microdots, which are impossible to remove, onto auto parts. These microdots contain unique identifiers which can link parts back to their original vehicles. Nifty eh ?

Lojack, boasts a 90% recovery rate. Lojack employs a tracking device which can be activated upon vehicle theft. The device can lead law-enforcement not only to the car but, in some cases, to chop shops.

All these things outlined above are nice but have one major flaw, they don't stop your car being stolen. The best way to combat car theft is to not have your car stolen in the first place......right ?

Car alarms. devices, gadgets aren't doing the job. Thieves can get around these devices with alarming ease.

One device however is head and shoulders above the rest, Biometric fingerprint devices. The only way a biometrically secure car will start is by the input of an enrolled user's fingerprint. Not just an image of that print but a living, breathing human being's fingerprint.

This is the most effective technology today for securing your vehicle. Biometrics on the doors and the ignition system make your vehicle impossible to steal.

More to come ..
Howard Lancaster is a freelance writer based in South Eastern Wisconsin. A respected authoritative voice on Biometric security systems. Visit his website at


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