According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds. And in Philly, it’s close to every 30 seconds. In fact, in 2023 there have already been over 6,900 vehicles stolen in Philadelphia, nearly doubling the average carjackings per year since 2020. Sadly and statistically, you may be more likely to have your car stolen this year than in any other year to date. The question is, could the car you drive affect your chances of having your car stolen?
Ten years ago, the Bureau’s Hot Wheels report reported that Honda Accords were the most stolen car in the nation. In Philadelphia, however, it seems that Kias and Hyundais have ‘stolen’ the show. So far in 2023, 5,600 Kias and Hyundais have been carjacked.
Why are Thieves Targeting Hyundais and Kias?
Why? Statistically, Kias and Hyundais are the more affordable cars on the market. While more expensive counterparts like Volvo are often locked or parked in well-lit areas, Kias and Hyundais are more likely to belong to owners that live in lower-income areas. These lower-income areas usually result in higher crime.
Many modern Hyundais and Kias lack a useful anti-theft device called an immobilizer, which prevents a vehicle from starting when someone attempts to use a key or key fob that doesn’t match the car. This means that thieves can simply break into the vehicle, remove the steering column cover, jam a makeshift key into the ignition cylinder, and start the car.
There’s also a new TikTok trend called the “USB Challenge” that has encouraged teens across the country – not just in Philadelphia, and many not even old enough to drive – to steal certain models of Hyundais and Kias with the smash of a window and a USB cord.
So, whether it is because of the social media challenge, the ease of the left, or the demographics of an area – Hyundai and Kia owners should stay vigilant!
The Bureau released lists for each state, and the following infographic depicts the most stolen cars in Pennsylvania.
Please note that this infographic covers all of PA, but Philly experiences the highest level of vehicle theft. In fact, according to watchyourcar.org, the theft rate in Philadelphia is 6 times more than the state’s theft rate.
Tips for Keeping Your Car Safe
Having your car stolen is far from fun, and taking a few extra precautions could help you.
Follow the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s layered approach to keeping your vehicle safe.
1) Use common sense. Lock your car and take your keys with you. Close your windows and park in a well-lit area. Even if you’ll just be gone for a few minutes, don’t take any chances.
2) Use a warning device. Most cars come with a visible or audible device that warns of thieves. This may include audible alarms, brake locks, wheel locks, theft deterrent decals, and more.
3) Use an immobilizing device. Many new cars have a device that prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring your vehicle. These devices may come in the form of smart keys, kill switches, starter disablers, wireless authentication, and more.
4) Use a tracking device. A tracking device can emit a signal directly to the police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. This is a very effective way to help authorities recover stolen vehicles.
Have you had any experiences having your car stolen? What tips can you share with others?