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Car thefts decline again

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Car thefts have dropped substantially, according to the 2010 preliminary data report (the most recent data available) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. The federal agency is reporting that overall car thefts dropped 12.03 percent in 2010 over the previous year to an average of 1.17 thefts per thousand vehicles produced. It attributed the decline in vehicle thefts to better parts marking and an increase in antitheft devices as standard equipment as well as increased public awareness and improved prosecution methods of law enforcement.

NHTSA's top 10 cars with the highest theft rate per one thousand vehicles produced were:

  1. Dodge Charger.
  2. Pontiac G6.
  3. Chevrolet Impala.
  4. Chrysler 300.
  5. Infiniti FX35.
  6. Mitsubishi Galant.
  7. Chrysler Sebring.
  8. Lexus SC.
  9. Dodge Avenger.
  10. Kia Rio.

NHTSA said that car theft rates have been steadily declining since 2001. In addition to the inconvenience of having your car stolen, it can be a financial drain. If you are upside down in your car loan at the time of the theft, you could end up paying on a car loan for a car you no longer own.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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