The good news is that car thefts are declining steadily across the country. The bad news is that the theft of car parts and accessories is on the rise.
New Cars are Harder to Steal
Here's the scenario: You have rough credit, but you made the decision to buy a new or nearly new car and finance it with a subprime auto loan to get your financial situation back on track.
Because you financed a new car or nearly-new used vehicle, it means that new ride typically comes with the latest in theft-prevention technology. Therefore, you probably don't have to worry as much about it getting stolen, right?
Not so fast, Sparky.
It turns out that while vehicle thefts are down across the whole U.S. of A., parts and accessories thefts are actually on the increase.
Car Thefts in Michigan
"We hear all this good news about auto theft being down in Michigan, but unfortunately, what's replaced that is component theft," said Terri Miller, executive director of Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (HEAT). "Because it's harder to steal an entire vehicle these days, they're stealing the parts. The tires and rims are not marked and they are very, very marketable."
In other words, since thieves can't take your whole car as easily as they once could, they're simply stripping some of the easiest-to-steal parts off of it. According to HEAT, here's how it happens in Detroit:
Organized crime rings are targeting newer vehicles parked in neighborhoods, in parking lots, even at dealer lots - anywhere they can quickly jack the car up, remove the wheels, and leave it sitting on blocks.
How to Reduce Car Theft Risk
Although there is no sure-fire way to prevent your vehicle from becoming a target for parts thieves, HEAT does offer these suggestions to lower your risk:
- Park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit area.
- Wheel locks can help, but sometimes thieves get frustrated by them and take it out on the vehicle by breaking windows and damaging other parts of it.
- Mark your wheels in a way only you know. That way, if they're stolen and subsequently recovered, they can be identified as coming from your vehicle.
The Bottom Line
It can be both inconvenient and expensive to have parts and accessories stolen from your vehicle, but by following the tips from HEAT, you may have a better chance at either preventing a theft or recovering some of the more expensive parts if they are stolen.
Here's another tip: If you have rough credit, don't hesitate any longer. At Auto Credit Express we've helped thousands of credit-challenged people rebuild their credit while driving a reliable new or used car.
So if you're ready to take the first step, you can begin the process by filling out our secure online application.