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Car thieves love luxury rides

By Jay MacDonald ·
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

You know who shares your expensive taste in luxury cars? Car thieves, that's who.

And if the new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB, is any indication, your auto insurance company may be less excited than you are about your recent purchase of a Mercedes-Benz, especially if you live in car-crazy California.

There were 4,384 luxury vehicles stolen nationwide from 2009 through 2012, according to the NICB. Thieves preferred the compact luxury class, with 2,150 thefts, compared to the midsize class, with 1,734 thefts, and the high-dollar premium class, with 500 thefts.

When the bureau drilled deep into its theft data for luxury class vehicles, it found that thieves preferred the Mercedes-Benz C Class, which topped the most-likely-to-disappear list with 485 thefts, edging the BMW 3 Series, with 471 vehicles stolen. Mercedes' E Class (381 thefts) and S Class (163) models also made the paradise-lost list, as did BMW's 5 Series (256) and 7 Series (126), as well as the Infinity G Series (405) and M Series (124), Cadillac's CTS (326) and Acura's TL Series (150).

Most populous state has most thefts

California led the nation, with 1,063 luxury car thefts reported, followed by Florida, with 674, and New Jersey, with 453. If you want to keep your Benz safe, you'd be advised to set your GPS to South Dakota or Wyoming, which reported just one luxury-vehicle theft each.

As for recovery, the high-end premium luxury rides were twice as likely to remain at-large, with 34.4 percent of these models unrecovered, compared to 14.3 percent of compact models and 13.5 percent of midsize thefts. Nationally, 713 stolen luxury vehicles, or 16.3 percent of the nationwide total, remain missing in action -- or more likely, in inaction.

These are vehicles that are more likely to have been targeted by sophisticated organized theft rings, which dismantle stolen vehicles for parts, VIN-switch them to resell to unsuspecting buyers, or export them to other countries, says the NICB.

Everyone with auto insurance pays a price for the criminal deeds of car thieves. To anonymously report a stolen vehicle, you can contact the NICB toll-free at 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), text the keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or go online at, where you can fill in a stolen-vehicle form and download the free NICB fraud tips app to your Android or iPhone.

Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus

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Jay MacDonald is a Bankrate contributing editor and co-author of "Future Millionaires' Guidebook," an e-book by Bankrate editors and reporters.

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August 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I don't like the comment the other guy made at all about thieves, etc.
A lot of people who grew up poor want to taste the other side, and why not. My father drank away our car when I was 12. Pay him no mind, but I'm sure you know that it isn't the material that will make you happy (I'm not religious)


August 10, 2013 at 10:49 am

POD sounds like a disgruntled child from a wealthy family trying to strike back at his or her parents.

I came from a low income family, my father could never afford to own a car. I worked for years and finally bought myself a Mercedes C model. It is now 16 years old and in great condition. I would have spent more on two new economy cars within that time span.

I wish the careless envious would not judge until they find out the facts. Get real, POD.

August 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

I figure it's a wash....most luxury car owners are thieves of one sort or another (Bankers, Lawyers, Drug Dealers, Slum Lords, Pay Day Lenders......etc.) What goes round....comes round.

August 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

Maybe if the law would keep these thieves in jail, and not let them out so easily, an honest hard working person could Keep their own possessions! and not have to worry if they are going to be stolen, or have to pay high price for their insurance against just that! As statistics have proven once a person turns to a life a crime, they are much more likely to repeat the offence, maybe a two strikes your out! or should I say IN!

August 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

Oh, horrors. I better watch out for my '98 I30 Infinity

August 10, 2013 at 1:48 am

Glad they don't like toys like trucks that are so versatile.

August 10, 2013 at 12:19 am

Sorry, Typo Not a Mazda Hachback I meant Touring Hatchback. (I don't believe anyone even makes a Hachback)

August 09, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Don't steal My 2008 Mazda 3 Hachback. Love this car! You can keep your Bimmers,Caddys,Mercedes etc. You could buy 2-3 for the price of one luxury sedan just saying......

August 06, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I should've known the girl in the red dress in the picture on the home page had nothing to do with this article.

August 06, 2013 at 5:32 pm

I am suprised my 2005 Accent isn't on this list. No, wait, I am not.