Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of auto theft season, as car thieves are traditionally most active in the summer. According to the National Crime Information Center's latest data, 2,599 vehicles were stolen on Memorial Day making it the 5th most targeted holidays for vehicle theft. The AA forecasts that 32.1 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles away from home this weekend, providing a wealth of targets for today's sophisticated car thieves. The most experienced thieves can get into a car in just 7 seconds, most only needing a screwdriver to target a car.
It's big business, too. Thieves target cars for their parts, because "a car is usually worth one and a half to two times what it's worth in pieces. It's a lot more valuable for a thief to come and steal the parts and sell them than it is for them to steal the car and then try to sell it", commented Allstate Insurance Agent Roger Francis. The most commonly targeted vehicles are Hondas, Toyotas, and Acuras, which are the most popular car models on the road and have higher quality parts than comparable American cars. A single headlight fixture goes for $150 on the black market, while a Toyota Avalon bumper can sell anywhere between $500 and $550. Regardless of its make, a car is stolen every 33 seconds in the United States. Furthermore, Allstate strip teams have demonstrated in the past their ability to take a car down to its bare parts within just 10 minutes.
LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN), developer of the industry's most effective stolen vehicle recovery systems, advises that consumers take precautionary measures to protect their vehicles for today's organized crime rings. The national vehicle theft rate has declined for 6 consecutive years, but LoJack cautions consumers that the national rate of unrecovered vehicles is at its highest point in more than 20 years. In 2008, 43% or 411,444 stolen vehicles were never returned to their rightful owners.
D.J. Thompson, Director of Law Enforcement for LoJack, offers key theft protection tips to utilize this weekend. "By combining common sense approaches, theft protection devices, and tracking/recovery systems, consumers can protect their vehicles from theft." A LoJack transmitter that is hidden in your car helps the police track and recover your stolen vehicle, and the company offers a 24-hour recovery guarantee. Last Year, LoJack had a success rate of 90 percent, recovering 11,382 Lojack-equipped vehicles valued at $133 million. Since thieves can typically disarm most theft prevention devices, recovery systems provide the peace of mind that you'll get your car back often quickly in the event it s stolen.
Disclosure: no positions