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August 12, 2016

What Happens to Your Car When it's Stolen by a Professional Thief?

Thief_stealing_car-iStock_64000917_SMALLSpeaking as one who knows: finding the remains of your chopped-up car at the junkyard sucks. The first car I bought right after graduating from college was stolen with only 32,000 miles on the odometer, and it broke my heart to see its skeleton at the police impound lot!

Have you ever wondered what might happen to your car if it were stolen?

Sadly many cars end up in chop shops, where the vehicle is stripped down to its components, which are then sold separately on the black market.

By selling individual parts, thieves can make two to four times the vehicle's actual worth (see visual below). 

Other vehicles are shipped overseas and sold illegally. Hundreds of thousands of stolen vehicles are transported across U.S. borders each year.

Some stolen vehicles are used in the commission of other more serious crimes. Imagine what could happen when its license plates are traced back to you as the original owner. If your car IS stolen, be sure to report it to local crime prevention authorities as soon as possible.

LOJACK-car_theftThe rest are simply resold as used vehicles, most often to unsuspecting customers. If you’re considering buying a used car, be sure to check its ownership and title history by requesting (or running for yourself) a CarFax Vehicle History Report. You can also perform a FREE VIN check through the National Insurance Crime Bureau VINCheck service. NICB's VINCheck is a service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB members.

"As the rate of non-recovered stolen vehicles reaches a 20+-year high, consumers need to do everything possible to keep their vehicles safe from an increasingly clever base of professional thieves," said Patrick Clancy, Vice President of Law Enforcement for LoJack and theft prevention expert.

"This is particularly critical during the months of July and August when vehicle theft is at its peak and many families are out on the road enjoying their summer vacations. Summer travel season is an especially important time for drivers to learn how they need to keep their vehicles safe from theft," said Clancy.

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