Every 25.5 seconds, a car or truck is stolen. If you own a snazzy Acura Integra, luxurious Cadillac Escalade EXT, Dodge Ram, Nissan Sentra or Toyota Camry, you should know because these vehicles are among thieves' preferred targets, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Other luxury models popular with thieves include Jaguar's XJR, the BMW M-Series roadster and several high-end SUVs. Older cars, even mid-1990s models, are also on hit lists. Automotive technology provider CCC Information Services identifies several Toyota and Honda models as 16 of the 20 most frequently stolen vehicles.
How can you protect your business investment? Layer your deterrents, suggests the NICB. Instead of a key, you can opt for a programmable 5-digit push-button panel on the driver's door, available in vehicles from Ford, GM, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and others. Saab's pass-key theft-deterrent system shuts down the ignition and fuel system for several minutes if vehicle tampering is detected. GM's OnStar system tracks your vehicle's location so police can retrieve it.
Aftermarket products you can install include warning devices such as alarms (but don't announce its brand name to savvy thieves by putting a sticker on your window), steering wheel locks, brake pedal locks and fuel disablers. Other theft-prevention products are the Cyntrx GPS tracker and LoJack, which helps police find your stolen car via a radio transceiver hidden in your vehicle. For forklifts, tractors and other heavy equipment, check out the Keyenabler at keytroller.com. An extra benefit of such devices: lower insurance costs. Check lojack.com for insurance discounts in your state.
Jill Amadio is an award-winning automotive journalist and author.
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