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aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/12/24 7:31 p.m.

A report is out about nationwide car thefts.  I believe this is an all time high.  Population does go up, but with the massive increase in security features compared to the past you would think it would be lower.  Of course, it is seeming like, the security features, specifically keyfobs are actually making cars easier to steal.  Obviously the KIA thing is not helping, but clearly it's not just that.  I have heard there is a massive increase in Camero thefts.  For some reason their keyfobs are easier to spoof or copy(?)

Unintended consequence?

There are specifics about states in the article, but they are not surprising at all.

 

Vehicle thefts continue to surge nationwide, challenging vehicle owners and law enforcement agencies hoping to curb this growing crime trend. A new report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to identifying, investigating, preventing, and deterring insurance fraud and crime, shows another record-breaking year for vehicle thefts in 2023. Last year, more than one million vehicles were reported stolen and overall vehicle thefts increased about one percent nationwide from 1,008,756 in 2022 to 1,020,729 in 2023. Vehicle theft rates have risen steadily since 2019. California accounted for the highest number of vehicle thefts nationwide in 2023 with 208,668 vehicles reported stolen.  The District of Columbia had the highest theft rate across the nation in 2023 with 1,149.71 thefts per 100,000 people, which is over three times the national theft rate.

“Criminals are employing increasingly sophisticated methods to steal vehicles, including the use of advanced technology to bypass security systems,” said David J. Glawe, President and CEO of NICB. “From keyless entry hacks to relay attacks on key fobs, perpetrators are exploiting vulnerabilities in modern vehicle security measures with alarming success rates. It is critical that industry and law enforcement work together to develop more effective strategies for combating auto theft and safeguarding public safety.”

https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/vehicle-thefts-surge-nationwide-2023

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/24 7:41 p.m.

It would be interesting to know if the theft rate usually scales with the size of the fleet. The increase of the number of cars on the road between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023 is almost exactly the same as the increase in thefts, so the odds of a given car being stolen haven't changed.

I'd love to see a breakdown of what cars are stolen, to see if the Kia debacle really shows up as a big spike. I suspect it does. That jump from 2022 to 2023 was 12,000 cars. According to the IIHS:

In the first half of 2020, roughly 1.0 out of every 1,000 insured Hyundais and Kias were reported stolen. That was about the same as for all other makes of cars. By the first half of 2023, though, that figure had risen to 11.2 per 1,000. Meanwhile, the theft rate for all other makes of cars stayed about the same.

 

How many Hyundai/Kias are on the road? If it's more than a million, then there's your 12,000 cars. And given that Kia sold over 600,000 cars in 2022, it's pretty easy to say that there are well over a million of them in operation.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
4/12/24 9:17 p.m.

I love how Toyotas  and Lexi get stolen by hacking into the Canbus system with something called a "Can Injector". Seems if you can get at a headlight connector by yanking on the bumper cover, anyone can steal a Lexus.

Anyone know where to buy one of these Can Injectors? Might be cheaper than buying a new key  fob for the FRS since I lost one.wink

No Time
No Time UltraDork
4/12/24 9:39 p.m.

Article on Can Injector

A bit of reading for those that want to know more about how this works. 

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
4/12/24 10:15 p.m.

Not punishing thieves may have something to do with it too.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/12/24 10:56 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

How many Hyundai/Kias are on the road? If it's more than a million, then there's your 12,000 cars. And given that Kia sold over 600,000 cars in 2022, it's pretty easy to say that there are well over a million of them in operation.

That's pretty much the case in Minneapolis - St. Paul.  Hyundais and Kias are the vehicles of choice for joyriders, they are stealing them ALL the time.

Ojala
Ojala GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/13/24 12:04 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :  The canbus devices have all been packaged arduino and can us shields in Bluetooth speaker cases. Crooks are packaging them for push button use and selling them for a couple thousand. Only seen that with upper tier LEXUS and euro luxury. Most of the GMs have been taken with key cloners or ecm/bcm fob combos. Don't even let me near whoever at Kia/Hyundai is responsible for their ignition.
 

Punishment is an issue I don't know how to fix. I'd like to say harsh punishments will work but currently felonies have a loooong wait in my county. I mean how can I ask a judge to move a 2 year old murder/sex assault/child abuse down the schedule for a property crime? Honestly, in my county auto theft with no real history will get you maybe 6 weeks in county. Career auto thieves will catch 6 months.

 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
4/13/24 6:26 a.m.

More and more the auto thieves are underage kids, often 12 years old or even younger.  As a result they don't face the same penalties as adults, and they'll end up being picked up and released multiple times before they're 18.  Of course the other problem is they don't know how to drive yet so they often crash into other innocent drivers.

porschenut
porschenut Dork
4/13/24 8:07 a.m.

What about old school stuff?  Still have the steering wheel locks from the 80's so they could start it but not turn the wheel.  New tech has the air tag, can you put in an alert if it moves?  But that fix presumes you are near the car and want to stop it.

johndej
johndej UltraDork
4/13/24 8:27 a.m.

Its up from over the past few years but that's a bit of a click bait title as overall it's quite low according to this page. https://www.statista.com/statistics/191216/reported-motor-vehicle-theft-rate-in-the-us-since-1990/

 

I started driving in that early 2k window and remembered anyone with a "tuner" car getting taken right and left.

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
4/13/24 8:44 a.m.

In reply to johndej :

That's what I was going to say.

It's headline news around here like it's the end of the world, but I thought I read that car thefts are down significantly since the 80's and 90's. But that doesn't make for good headlines.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
4/13/24 9:11 a.m.

You know, if every car manufacturer was forced to use 240 Volvo ignition switches, the rate of car theft would plummet.

Ojala
Ojala GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/13/24 10:43 a.m.

In reply to Peabody :

You're 100% right. Except for Hyundai/Kia there are nowhere near the same amount of joyride thefts that there used to be. Frankly that was always the vast majority of auto thefts. On the other hand the number of VIN flips, title fraud, and other tactics used by professional thieves have increased.

NorseDave
NorseDave HalfDork
4/13/24 11:26 a.m.

On a surfing chat group I'm on, someone asked about how to protect their keys and vehicle while out in the water.  My suggestion - "Leave doors unlocked and keys on dash.  Make sure vehicle has manual gearbox.  Problem solved."

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/24 11:51 a.m.

In reply to NorseDave :

That would only yield a very minor reduction in the odds of a thief being able to drive the vehicle. It would be highly effective at preventing the resale of the vehicle to an older person though:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/off-topic-discussion/millennial-anti-theft-device-objectively-debunked/241609/page1/

No Time
No Time UltraDork
4/13/24 12:16 p.m.

So on cars with keyless ignition, would foiling the can injector be as simple as disconnecting the brake light switch?

Sure they could still get in the car, and it would even power up when pushing the button, but without a signal indicating the brake was pressed it wouldn't engage the starter (same thing with the clutch switch on a manual with pbs).

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/13/24 12:46 p.m.
stuart in mn said:
Keith Tanner said:

How many Hyundai/Kias are on the road? If it's more than a million, then there's your 12,000 cars. And given that Kia sold over 600,000 cars in 2022, it's pretty easy to say that there are well over a million of them in operation.

That's pretty much the case in Minneapolis - St. Paul.  Hyundais and Kias are the vehicles of choice for joyriders, they are stealing them ALL the time.

What "joy" is there in driving a Hyundai or Kia?  I understand most wouldn't have means to steal a Corvette,  but why take a car that's about a much fun as a lawnmower unless you just need transportation? 

Also, can someone explain the difference between the charges of joy riding, unlawful driving away a vehicle, and grand theft auto?

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/13/24 12:49 p.m.
ShawnG said:

Not punishing thieves may have something to do with it too.

Didn't they hang horse thieves in the old west? Lets get back to that. Won't be much of a deterrent, but would sure help against repeat offenders...

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/13/24 2:34 p.m.

In reply to Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) :

A lot of the Hyundai's stolen seem to be used to back into pot shops and businesses in the middle of the night and abandoned later after offloading all the loot.

I do apologize for the click bait title.  I was not entirely sure it thefts were at an all time high (which they likely are, just not controlling for population).  The point was, with all the new fancy theft detergents that are in car as compared to the past, you would expect them to be much lower, even if they are lower per population than they have been.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/24 3:09 p.m.

The flip side of that is that the US fleet is getting older. The average car is over 12 years old now, which means dated theft protection doesn't really go away just because the latest cars are better. 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/13/24 3:28 p.m.
Ojala said:

On the other hand the number of VIN flips, title fraud, and other tactics used by professional thieves have increased.

This is something that has really alarmed me recently (as alluded to in my lament in the Off Topic forum a couple days ago). As someone who has been buying and selling cars for a long time it feels like there has been an astronomical increase in vehicles for sale that throw up multiple red flags by sellers who give off the sketchiest vibes imaginable. I used to feel comfortable running to look at pretty much anything with cash in hand and now I feel like I have to play detective before even taking an ad seriously.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) said:

What "joy" is there in driving a Hyundai or Kia?  I understand most wouldn't have means to steal a Corvette,  but why take a car that's about a much fun as a lawnmower unless you just need transportation?

The "joyriding" most of these kids do is basically emulating the Grand Theft Auto video games in real life. Anything can be "fun" when you are weaving in and out of head-on traffic, banging into other cars, using the local geography to catch air, etc...

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
4/13/24 3:28 p.m.

In reply to Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) :

One finger for every theft conviction. 

Eventually the problem will sort itself out.

Peabody
Peabody MegaDork
4/13/24 3:48 p.m.
Ojala said:

In reply to Peabody :

On the other hand the number of VIN flips, title fraud, and other tactics used by professional thieves have increased.

Heard about a guy busted in Toronto recently who was doing that. I think running a car rental fleet, VIN swapping, reporting them stolen, collecting insurance, VIN swapping them again, reporting them stolen, on, and on

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/13/24 4:50 p.m.

Yeah Hyundais and Kia's are the suck. No one enjoys them. 
 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/14/24 12:05 a.m.

Interesting DC is up at the top....I live just outside the city, and know a ton of people who live IN the city, and I literally haven't heard a single person talk about car theft as a concern, not a single time, in the last few years. I was worried about it alot 25 years ago in college and the early 2000s every time I went into the city, but I go into DC all the time and don't think about it at all now. 

But also makes sense....DC is quickly gentrifying and there are a lot of high-income folks with nice cars moving into areas that were just recently "bad areas" and a lot of the crime has stuck around. Plus most of the cars that are in DC on a daily basis are commuters from the suburbs in MD and VA....so if they get stolen it bumps the per capita rate a lot since DC itself doesn't have a huge population. 

On the upside, nobody jacks stereo systems any more since they're all integrated into the cars. I lost 3 Alpines, some amps, and some subs in a 5-year span in the late 90s lol.......back when car audio theft was a thing. 

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