As with many other industries, the pandemic had a significant impact on the global supply chains of car manufacturers, resulting in continuous price increases for both new and used vehicles. Consequently, car theft rates also experienced a corresponding surge, with a notable 11 percent increase in 2020 alone. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the total number of stolen vehicles in the United States surpassed the 1,000,000 mark for the first time since 2008.
Among Arizona’s seven metro areas, Tucson has the highest rate of auto theft. Over 3,300 vehicles, including cars, trucks, and SUVs, were stolen in Tucson in 2021, equivalent to approximately 313.7 thefts per 100,000 residents. Modern vehicles equipped with keyless entry and push-button start are easy victims.
Thieves utilize devices to boost the signal of a key fob, allowing them to unlock and start a vehicle even if they do not have the original key fob. The most frequently targeted vehicles for theft are full-sized Ford and Chevy pickup trucks. But what is the reason behind the high demand for pickup trucks among thieves and what measures can be taken to prevent your vehicle?
Most thieves focus their attention on pickup trucks manufactured before 2007, as these vehicles lack modern anti-theft systems that pose significant challenges to theft attempts. These older models do not incorporate key chips for ignition systems, making them more accessible to thieves. Additionally, they typically lack tracking devices or electronic immobilizers. Older GM and Ford F-series truck models are particularly attractive targets due to their absence of advanced anti-theft systems. These models are also in high demand on the black market and their parts can be easily stripped and sold, given their rarity and high cost due to their age.
Large trucks and RVs, given their design and structure, are often more exposed to theft attempts. It is also very common that these trucks are often stolen straight from dealership lots. Expert thieves have mastered the art of quickly unlocking these vehicles, and some even carry specialized tools that allow them to start the engine without the original key. The spacious interiors of these types of vehicles come with a multitude of spots that are perfect for hiding. In situations where a thief is at risk of being caught, they can take advantage of these hiding spots to remain undetected for longer periods. This knowledge isn’t lost on these criminals; they capitalize on these features to maximize their chances of a successful theft.
Increase the security of your vehicle and reduce the likelihood of theft incidents in Arizona by implementing smart and effective security practices. Always ensure that your doors, windows, and sunroof are locked, and avoid leaving keys in the ignition. Be particularly mindful of folding mirrors if your vehicle has this feature.
Safeguard your key fobs by storing them in security pouches like Faraday bags, which prevent thieves from capturing their signals using specialized devices. Choose well-lit parking areas with security personnel or utilize your home garage whenever possible. Consider installing motion sensors and motion lights in your driveway if street parking is necessary.
It is recommended that you work with a dependable 24/7 auto locksmith who can provide experienced advice and help you adopt the most effective security procedures. They can help with re-keying and installing new locks to improve security. They can also make duplicate keys, reprogram key fobs, install complex automobile alarm systems, and advise on effective anti-theft equipment like steering wheel locks and kill switches.
The rising vehicle theft rates in Arizona require vigilant efforts to protect our valuable assets. The impact of the pandemic on the automotive industry, coupled with the lack of modern anti-theft systems in older pickup trucks, has made them prime targets for thieves. To combat this issue, it is crucial to practice smart security measures, such as locking doors and safeguarding key fobs in Faraday bags. Parking in well-lit areas and utilizing home garages, along with installing motion sensors and seeking the assistance of professional car locksmiths, can significantly reduce the risk of theft. By combining anti-theft technology with proactive prevention measures, we can enhance the security of our vehicles and contribute to a safer Arizona community.