List released of most stolen cars, includes Dodge Charger

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The tastes of car owners are changing and that means the vehicles thieves are stealing are changing too.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has compiled a list of 20 vehicles which are hot targets.

“We’re looking at insurance data, specifically claims filed for vehicle theft,” said Matt Moore, who is a Senior Vice President at Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

He says thieves are looking for the “3-P’s” when they steal a vehicle these days. They want a vehicle that has:

  • Powerful Performance
  • Pricey
  • Pick- up truck

Pick-up trucks, which are very common here in this area, are targets partly because of how much they cost.

“They are no longer cheap, inexpensive vehicles, so they are of high value,’’ explained Moore.

The Dodge Charger with its Hemi engine and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are at the top of the IIHS list of cars likely to be stolen, with theft rates more than 5 times the average.

“If you live in an area where vehicle theft is a problem you should be aware of that and take this information in our report when you contemplate buying a vehicle,” said Moore.

There’s a couple of vehicles on the road that the institute found are not big targets of thieves. They are Tesla’s Model X and Model S. Those electric vehicles are among the least stolen, Moore says.

“Electric vehicles have to be charged and typically those charges happen in people’s garages,” he said. “Because they are in garages, behind closed doors that’s a theft deterrent.”

In a separate report last year, the institute found electric vehicles from a variety of manufacturers have lower theft claim rates than comparable vehicles.

The GM Escalade has benefited from theft deterrents.

It used to be one of the top stolen vehicles; now not so much.

“General Motors made sufficient updates to anti-theft technology on that vehicle,” he said.

He said standard ignition immobilizers weren’t enough to prevent the Escalade from being frequently stolen, so Cadillac added more antitheft features beginning with the 2015 model year.

GM included glass breakage sensors, motion detectors and an inclination sensor that triggers an alarm if someone tries to take the wheels off, tow the vehicle or lift it onto a flatbed truck.

THE IIHS compiles its stolen vehicle stats differently from law enforcement.

It looks at the amounts paid for total losses under collision coverage, which is generally the residual value of the vehicle. 

If the payment associated with a theft claim is around the same as would be expected for a total loss under collision coverage for the same vehicle of the same age, it is considered to be a whole-vehicle theft claim.

The results in the whole-vehicle theft report are adjusted to account for the effect of demographic and geographic factors.

According to the institute, roughly one vehicle is stolen for every 3,500 insured.

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