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Recent Report Finds SUV And CUV Thefts On The Rise

A recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found that almost 20,000 sports utility (SUVs) and crossover sports utility vehicles (CUVs), model years 2009-11 were reported as stolen between 2008 and the middle of 2012. This has moved them into the “favored by car thieves” category.

CUV’s are comparable to a hatchback and station wagon while an SUV combines the towing features of a pick-up truck combined with the passenger capacity of a minivan.

The theft of CUV’s outpaced SUV thefts 12,070 to 7,891 between 2008 and June of 2012.

The most stolen CUVs during the reporting period were the Ford Edge, Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape. The most stolen SUVs were the Chevy Tahoe, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee.

Following are a few statistics on the most stolen vehicles in the report:

  • Ford Escape (CUV): 1,014 thefts
  • Chevy Tahoe (SUV): 856 thefts
  • Toyota RAV4 (CUV): 801 thefts
  • Ford Edge (CUV): 739 thefts
  • Dodge Journey (CUV): 721 thefts
  • Honda CR-V (CUV): 643 thefts
  • Jeep Wrangler (SUV): 643 thefts
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee (SUV): 641 thefts
  • Nissan Rogue (CUV): 547 thefts
  • Nissan Murano (CUV): 473 thefts

According to the NICB the number of SUV and CUV thefts have grown dramatically across the country. In 2008 there were only 511 thefts but the following year the number of thefts rose to 3,162 and then up to 5,402 in 2010 and jumped again in 2011 to 7,580.

It turns out that California is brimming with car thieves as they took the top prize when it comes to the most CUV and SUV thefts. A total of 3,003 SUVs and CUVs were boosted in California putting them well ahead of the number two state, Texas with 1,826. Florida rounded out the top three with 1,784.

Regional numbers showed that the New York/Long Island/Northern New Jersey area popped up as the area with the highest number of thefts at 2,438. The cars were rarely found, unrecovered thefts were nearly four times higher than any other area.

Not wanting to be left behind, California had a region with the second highest number of thefts. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana area came in second with 1,229 thefts.

Tailgate Thefts are Headed Up

Who would want to steal a tailgate? It turns out lots of people. The NCIB also published a report on the theft of tailgates. The report found that the number of tailgate theft claims jumped up from only 16 claims in 2009 to 430 in 2010. While there is no way to explain the jump, experts feel that it is due to the strong demand in the resale market for tailgates.

The number kept rising in 2011 when 472 tailgates disappeared. The NCIB is also predicting a rise in the 2012 numbers.

Tailgates that have backup cameras installed in them can cost up to $3,600 and a regular tailgate can still run to $1,200. Stolen tailgates end up on Craigslist and Ebay or at scrap yards. Experts say they are a prime target because tailgates are fairly easy to steal and to resell. An expert thief can remove a tailgate in under 30 seconds. The 2008 Ford F250 was the most stolen tailgate and the Ford F 150 came in second.

Insurance experts recommend parking the vehicle up against a wall or in a locked garage. Carrying comprehensive coverage will also make sure you are covered in the event your tailgate goes missing.