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Porsche Owners Face A New Threat To Their Headlights 5
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Car Theft, Kurt, News, porsche, Porsche Cayenne, Porsche Panamera on 11 5th, 2012

2010 Porsche Panamera 4S – image: Porsche AG

Porsche Cayenne and Panamera owners have long known that theft of xenon headlight assemblies is a big risk, big enough to generate a class-action lawsuit in south Florida against the automaker. Thieves know that the headlight assemblies can be pried loose with a screwdriver in just a matter of minutes, resulting in a significant bill to owners for both bodywork and replacement headlights. We suppose the risk of theft is decreasing, as more cars now come from the factory with HID headlights, and aftermarket kits are decreasing in price.

In Amsterdam, however, Porsche owners face a new and unexpected threat. As AutoVisie reports, the headlights are being stolen by those with marijuana grow operations, as the bulbs produce an ideal temperature of light plus radiant heat. They’re energy-efficient, too, which helps prevent one of the common tells of grow house operation.

How prevalent is the threat? Some 20 Porsche Cayenne and Panamera models in Amsterdam had headlights stolen last week. That’s significant enough to raise concern among owners and authorities alike. Don’t think that parking under a light or under a security camera will do much good, either, since the theft takes just minutes. Short of camping out in your car, the next best option is to keep it safely garaged until the current wave of thefts is over.

Steal My Car: Infographic on How to Get Your Car Stolen 18
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Car Theft, Grand Theft Auto, stolen car, Technical, Vehicle Theft on 07 18th, 2012

From time to time we all do stupid stuff when it comes to securing our automobile. You can probably think of a time where you left your keys in the car, left it unlocked or even left your cellphone, iPad, Laptop, wallet or whatever in plain sight. Theft of belongings in cars or even grand theft auto, is not going anywhere anytime soon. The car theft season is a year-long affair.

The folks at CarInsurance.org, showing off their crafty side once again, have created an interesting and somewhat entertaining infographic of ‘How To Get Your Car Stolen’. The graphic is full of current statistics for vehicle theft including popular models targeted by thieves. Which items are you guilty of doing?

The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Won’t Be So Easy To Steal 30
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Cadillac Escalade, Automotive, Cadillac, Car Theft, Kurt, News on 12 30th, 2011

While the Cadillac Escalade has racked up plenty of awards (and legions of fans) since launch, one that doesn’t sit in the front of the trophy case is “Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicle.” The Escalade is a target for car thieves, thanks to its export value, its parts value and the truck’s bling factor. Cost saving measures from GM, like an easily-defeated plastic steering wheel lock, didn’t help matters any, either.

For 2012, Cadillac wants you to know that they’ve significantly enhanced security on Escalade models. First up is the PASS Key 3+, which uses electronic encryption between the key, the lock cylinder and the ignition system. When the key is inserted into the ignition cylinder, the system looks for an electronic handshake; if none is given, the car won’t start, even if the key used unlocks the cylinder.

Steering column locks are strengthened for 2012, too, making roll-away thefts on a flatbed more difficult if the truck is parked with the front wheels turned. All GM vehicles also come with OnStar, which can help locate and even disable a vehicle after a theft occurs.

Cadillac is offering optional security enhancements, too, like a new style of wheel lock said to be more secure than previous versions. There’s an available shock sensor, which is aimed at reducing content theft, and Cadillac is also offering a tilt sensor that triggers the alarm when a change in inclination is detected.

A little common sense goes a long way, too. Don’t leave valuables in your car, period, even if you think they’re out of sight. Park in well-lit areas, preferable within sight of security cameras. Always lock your doors when you leave your vehicle, and lock them again as soon as you enter. Never leave you vehicle running, even if you’re only away for a few seconds.

No car will ever be theft-proof, but by making yours harder to steal, you can encourage car thieves to shop elsewhere.

NICB’s ‘Hot Wheels’ Lists The Most Stolen Cars In The U.S. 3
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Car Theft, Kurt, News, NICB on 08 3rd, 2011

The 2002 Ford Explorer, one of the most stolen cars in the US. Image: Ford Motor Company

If I asked you to name the most stolen car in the U.S., what would you pick? The Cadillac Escalade? The BMW 3 Series? Maybe the Ford Mustang or the Chevy Camaro?

The correct answer is “E, none of the above.” According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the most stolen car in America last year wasn’t flashy and you won’t find it in poster form on anyone’s bedroom wall. If you’re lucky and have a very clean, low mileage example for sale, you might get $3,000 for it, and it certainly won’t stand out in a shopping mall parking lot. The car? A 1994 Honda Accord.

The Accord is followed by the ’95 Honda Civic, the ’91 Toyota Camry, the ’99 Chevy Pickup (full size), the ’97 Ford F-150, the ‘04 Dodge Ram, the ’00 Dodge Caravan, the ’94 Acura Integra, the ’02 Ford Explorer and the ’99 Ford Taurus. There isn’t a single dream car on the list, and even the highest value model wouldn’t net more than $10k in a retail sale. So why are these particular cars stolen?

There are several reasons, but the key ones are ease of theft and number of vehicles on the road. The ’94 Accord and Integra fit the “easy to steal” model, while the F-150 and Chevy pickups fit the “plenty of inventory” model. In some cases (the Hondas), cars can be stripped down for in-demand parts, which help to generate relatively easy money. In other cases (like the ’99 Ford Taurus), I can only assume they’re stolen for basic transportation.

How do you keep your car safe? Aside from the obvious “always lock it with the keys out of the ignition” and “park in well-lighted, heavily traveled areas,” the NICB recommends adopting a layered approach to security. No alarm or anti-theft device in the world will stop a determined thief, but making your car harder to steal than the one parked next to you will go a long way, especially in high theft areas like mall parking lots and college campuses.

If you want more details, including state-by-state listings of the most stolen vehicles, check out the NICB Hot Wheels report.

Source: NICB