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Despite newer cars, auto theft is still a common crime

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2017 | Larceny |

At one time, automobile theft was a common problem, especially in thriving cities such as New York. Today, cases of auto theft may not be as prominent as in years past, but the consequences are harsher than ever before. Although trends in crime are veering away from car theft in some places, there are a number of vehicles that nevertheless have higher chances of being stolen. What other factors play into the crime of larceny in big cities?

An article in The New York Times weighs in on the gradual decrease in car theft in New York City, pointing out the drastic drop in theft over the years: the city had 147,000 auto theft reports in 1990, and only 7,400 in 2012. The most evident reason for this decline is the advancement of technology in vehicles–for example, engine immobilizer systems adopted in the late 1990s and early 2000s allows cars to start only with an ignition key. This key is microchipped by the dealer to align only with the car. This advancement alone could account for why so many criminals choose older cars to steal; newer technology simply takes more time to understand and manipulate. Yet the Times also considers the decreasing worth of older cars; why would thieves go after them in the first place? A loophole in New York law allows cars to be sold for parts without a title if it is over eight years old, but even that approach has become harder to carry out over recent years.

New York’s trend in auto theft may appear on the decline, but what cars are the most highly prized for thieves? According to Pix 11 News, the Honda Accord and Civic remain at the top of the list for most-stolen cars, and although the crime is not as concerning as in the past, it is still a common issue. As aforementioned, newer models have a smaller chance of being stolen. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, however, is not fooled, as Pix shares the Bureau’s data that car theft has seen an increase over the last two years. Some of the most-stolen newer vehicles include the 2016 Toyota Camry and the 2015 Nissan Altima. The unpredictability of larceny in New York can place many drivers on edge, but the common consensus seems to be that older models remain the hot commodity.