Fewest vehicles were stolen last year since 1960, mostly thanks to vehicle security and technology as well as communication with law enforcement, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau report said. Only 221 registered vehicles per 100,000 registrations were stolen last year, compared to 443 in 1960.
Record-high was set in 1991, when 863 registered vehicles per 100,000 registrations were stolen, according to statement by NICB. The number of stolen vehicles had been in decline from 2003 to 2011. The figure surged slightly in 2012.
According to the report, technology has a positive effect on the vehicle whether as a built-in anti-theft protection or as after-market option by purchased by vehicle owners seeking for an additional level of security. NICB said technology has made its possible for cars to be more difficult to steal today than before.
Bill Biondo, technical fellow of global vehicle security and advanced technologies, disclosed that General Motors employs a “layered” approach to security. He noted that the most significant deterrent for vehicle theft is transponder immobilizers.
The engine cannot be started unless the vehicle system can detect a transponder value from the chip in the transponder electric key. “The key is married to that vehicle,” Biondo said.
On the other hand, Ford’s In-Vehicle Security Technical Manager Mike Westra disclosed that the carmaker’s key fobs are more complicated for thieves and a vehicle cannot be started without a key inside the cabin.
Biondo added that the OnStar offers a theft barrier program that can locate, slow down and deter stolen vehicles from being restarted. He, however, attributed the decline in vehicle theft to a joint effort between technology experts and law enforcement.