Stolen Mercedes-Benz SUVs were most unlikely to be recovered in the US

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 18, 2014

If you are an owner of Mercedes-Benz SUV and a victim of car thieves, then it is likely that your vehicle won’t be recovered. According to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau on thefts of 2011-2013 model years in the 48 months ended Dec. 31, 2013, 37 percent of stolen GL class SUVs remained unrecovered.

It was followed by the Cadillac, 30 percent which were never recovered. The non-recovery rates for the Nissan Rogue and Ford Explorer were less than 15 percent. Authorities disclosed in February 27 that Carjackers and thieves have been targeting luxury vehicles in New York and New Jersey. They are collaborating with middlemen who would load them into containers for shipping to West Africa.

That day, agencies including the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office disclosed charges against 29 people in connection with a theft ring. “This ring we took down was a double threat,” acting Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement. Hoffman said that the members of the ring committed car-jacking incidents that placed the public in grave danger.

He added that the ring created demand that also motivated others to commit such crime. According to data, New Jersey had the highest number of unrecovered SUVs at 368. At second is New York. New Jersey and New York account for around a fourth of the unrecovered thefts in the US.

Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the NICB, told Automotive News in a phone interview that the lower recovery rate in the two states could be attributed to the concentration of wealth and to the access to ports in the areas.

Scafidi noted that theft has become less prevalent in the past 20 years, partly because technology now allows law enforcement to track vehicles. Arresting authorities said criminal crews would store stolen cars at locations like hospital parking garages and warehouses to ensure that those vehicles don’t have tracking devices.

Following a “cool-off” period, the cars will be sent to middlemen. Theft rings may also dismantle stolen vehicles for parts, according the NICB said. While the Ford Escape was the most frequently stolen SUV, around 95 percent of them were recovered. Around 87 percent of stolen Nissan Rogues were recovered. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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