You know you parked in lot A16. You are sure of it. Absolutely certain. So why then are you standing, keys in hand, gaping at the empty parking spot where your beloved Toyota Camry used to be? Sadly, the answer is that you are one of roughly 699,594 victims of motor vehicle theft in the U.S. each year.
When staring at the air in the space where your car used to be, it’s natural to ask “Why me?” And though you are speaking rhetorically (and probably very loudly), there actually is an answer to your query. Why you? More than likely, you purchased one of the top five most steal-able vehicles in the U.S. and did not take the right precautions. So, to better your odds of keeping your car, here are the five most frequently stolen vehicles in the country and the best methods for ensuring that your baby stays parked exactly where you left it.
Starting off the list at number five is the Toyota Camry. Since the car first hit the road in 1982, more than 10 million Camrys have been nicked from right under their drivers’ noses. Declared by the manufacturer as the best-selling American mid-sized car for over a decade, it is no wonder the sensible and reliable Camry is a favorite among thieves.
Tip: Security camera systems like the Lorex Technologies Outdoor Security Camera are one of the best theft deterrents you can own. They work as a preventive measure, discouraging thefts from occurring at the your property.
Crashing into fourth place on the list is the full-sized Chevrolet Pickup. In 2014, more than 23,000 Chevy pickups were forced into new ownership. However, to the relief of many a pickup owner, this number was about 4,000 less than the year before.
Tip: Etch your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the window glass and other impressionable locations on the car. This can discourage would-be thieves with chop shop dreams.
Stopping in at number three is the Ford full-sized pickup. This model was snatched 28,680 times last year, which is nearly 2,000 more than the year before. If Chevy and Ford were competing for the title of “truck most desired by criminals,” Ford came out the winner in 2014.
Tip: To avoid being left high and dry, get a lo jack. Vehicle recovery systems track your vehicle through electronic transmission technology that allows you to pinpoint the location of your stolen vehicle.
The runner up on the top five list of most frequently and illegally liberated cars is the classic Honda Civic. The total for snatched Civics in 2014 was 43,936. Although, notably, the Civic’s proclivity for vanishing has declined in the past two years.
Tip: Park in a garage. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but it’s a tip that’s easy to forget when you’re in a rush. If a garage is available, it is safer than an open-space parking lot or a residential street.
And the winner of the most likely to be heisted award goes to … the Honda Accord. Racing miles ahead of the competition with over 51,000 reported thefts last year, the Honda Accord is revered by crooks for many reasons. Most likely, though, the model’s interchangeable parts and long manufacturing stretch (it’s been on the market since 1976) are the traits that keep the rustlers coming back for more.
Tip: Don’t buy an Accord … but if you already own one, do not to leave any valuables out in plain sight. There’s no need to further tempt fate.
There you have it — the most notorious and likely-to-be-nicked models of the past year. If your car made the top five, make sure you are utilizing as many deterrents as you can to get a leg up on robbers. This way you won’t end up hoofing it home.