Car theft is widely seen as a crime perpetrated by careful thieves forming rings that abduct your car in the dead of night before chopping it up for parts and leaving you with an auto insurance mess.
And they usually are. Except when they're grade-schoolers.
#5) 13-Year-Olds “Borrow” BMW
Two boys decided to borrow their mother's BMW without asking ... which is already problematic since 13 is too young to have a driver's license. The other problem? They drove from Columbus, OH, to Kansas City, MO, a trip of approximately 700 miles. Police found them sleeping in the vehicle on their way to California. When informed of the incident, their mother was relieved but also raised an excellent question: How the heck did they travel 700 miles without anybody noticing?
#4) 11-Year-Old Takes the Bait Car
You expect teenagers to do stupid, possibly criminal things. But not middle schoolers. Nonetheless, that's exactly what an 11-year-old boy did. In fact, he not only stole the bait car, he drove it around, giving his friends rides and generally showing off.
This despite the fact that he couldn't see over the steering wheel. He and his 10-year-old friends were arrested and taken to juvenile court. Personally, we just want an explanation of how he learned to steal cars, and why an 11-year-old felt the need to drive.
#3) Swedish Boy Steals Car at Toy Gunpoint
Generally, stealing cars at gunpoint is the domain of dangerous gangsters and drug addicts. Also, apparently, it's the domain of Swedish 9-year-olds.
The boy used an airsoft gun to steal a car, screaming that it was loaded -- which it probably was, but it wasn't terribly dangerous. Unfortunately, being nine, he didn't have the best grasp of vehicles: the car he stole was an electric vehicle designed for city use that topped out at 18 miles an hour. He was “captured” by a bystander who literally simply picked him up and held him until police arrived. Fortunately, he won't be facing any charges: he's too young. We might recommend taking his toy guns away, though.
#2) Latarian Milton Swipes Keys, Becomes a Meme
Meet Latarian. He decided to “borrow” his grandmother's car by grabbing the keys and trying to drive off. Unfortunately, there was one serious problem in this plan: He couldn't drive. He wound up wrecking the vehicle and getting a spanking for his troubles. Apparently, though, he feels no regret for what he did. Maybe he needs a Scared Straight program.
#1) 7-Year-Old in Pajamas Just Wants to See His Dad
Finally, there's this seven-year-old, who gets the #1 slot because he actually could drive. Slightly.
This boy, who lives 100 miles north of Detroit, just wanted to see his father. Since it was the middle of the night and he lived with his mother, he took his fate into his own hands, and drove off, barefoot, in his pajamas.
Needless to say, police were somewhat surprised to see a seven-year-old driving a Pontiac Sunfire down a highway at 70 mph. Fortunately, they were able to stop him and make sure he went home.
No, they drove him.
Tags: safauto, safe auto, car thieves
Like everybody else, thieves have preferences. There are cars they like, for various reasons, and there are cars they wouldn't touch with a 10-foot slim piece of metal to jimmy open the door lock.
What might surprise you is exactly which vehicles make the least stolen list, and why. (Although it probably wouldn’t surprise auto insurance companies -– they know their stuff on car thefts.) First, our list:
If that sounds like a strange list, well, it is. But there are a few reasons each car makes the list.
Lack of Demand
The cars that get often stolen are the cars people want, or the cars people drive the most. For example, your typical Honda or Toyota is at risk of being stolen, simply because the thief knows there will be a market for the parts. With other cars, there's less demand. For example, the Chevy Aveo is a fine car, but if it's a choice between the Aveo and a more popular car in the same class, the Aveo is being left alone.
Location, Location, Location
Why do all these luxury cars, which would seem to be prime targets for profit minded thieves, actually number among the least stolen? Wouldn't a Lexus or a BMW be considered a juicy score for a greedy thug?
Well, sure, but first they have to find them. Cars like a BMW 5 Series or an Audi A6 aren't usually parked on the curb; they're kept in garages on private property, with security systems and quite possibly a guard with a gun in the booth.
Most crimes are crimes of opportunity, and most owners of these cars just don't give thieves the opportunity.
Better Security Systems
Car security has improved across the board: it's why we currently have car theft rates at a 40-year low. But luxury cars are better at it than most, and use what are called ignition immobilization.
It's pretty simple: if you don't attempt to start the car using a key, the car doesn't run. It's impossible for thieves to route around the ignition and steal the car. So, they don't bother: they can find something else to steal.
There's Something to Be Said for That Boxy Look
Finally, there's the fact that...how do we put this...some of these cars are more “modest looking” than some of the others on the street.
Professional car thieves are looking for a score, but some car thieves are just essentially troublemakers looking for a hot car to impress girls with. So, the more stylized the car, the more of a target it is for thieves.
What that says about the vehicles on this list is entirely up to the reader.
So, what do we know about how to keep your car from being stolen? One, lock it up at night in a garage, if possible. Two, install a strong security system that will keep it from being driven away. And three, buy something that's not the most popular in its class, and preferably not the most stylish, either.
Or save even more money: drive a junker no thief would touch. We're sure there's got to be an operating AMC Gremlin out there somewhere.
If you need car insurance, check out SafeAuto.com.
Image Credit: http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/bird-thief.jpg
Tags: safeauto, safe auto, car thieves, least stolen car
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