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Vehicle thieves' top choice is the Cadillac Escalade

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Vehicle thieves' top choice is the Cadillac Escalade

Toyota Prius, Sienna are least likely to be stolen, institute says

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Keep an eye on your Escalade.

For car thieves, the Cadillac luxury SUV is the most popular target among 2007-09 model cars and trucks. And it's the most expensive for insurance companies to cover, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, which today released its list of thieves' most and least popular vehicles.

At the bottom: Toyota's Prius.

"Sedate, family cars and fuel-sippers aren't on the hot list," said Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute in Arlington, Va.

"Thieves are after chrome, horsepower and Hemis."

According to the institute, the most frequently stolen rides, after the Escalade, are the Ford F-250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37 and Dodge Charger with a Hemi engine.

General Motors Co. spokesman Nick Twork acknowledged that Cadillac's Escalade is a "very desirable vehicle, for its owners, and unfortunately, thieves," and said the automaker is trying to deter bad guys.

Laminated side-glass will come on the 2011 model, and the Escalade already comes with an engine immobilizer and steering column lock.

The Escalade also is available with OnStar "stolen vehicle slowdown technology."

Hazelbaker noted that "even though Escalades have the latest immobilizer technology, thieves still can put them on flatbeds and haul them away."

Owners of 2007-09 Escalades file 10.8 stolen vehicle claims per 1,000 vehicles, compared with 0.8 claims per 1,000 vehicles for the Prius.

The average Escalade theft loss is $11,934, compared with $2,203 for the Prius.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100803/AUTO01/8030320/1148/auto01/Vehicle-thieves--top-choice-is-the-Cadillac-Escalade#ixzz0vXpb4SE0

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Cadillac Escalade thefts most costly to insurers

12:02 AM

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 isn't stolen as often as some other models, but when it is, it costs a bundle: an average loss of $41,229. By contrast, when the Dodge Charger with a Hemi engine is stolen, insurers fork out an average of $10,118 -- but it's stolen a lot more often, so their losses are higher.

Such is the math behind the Highway Loss Data Institute's ranking today of vehicles that result in the biggest insurance loss. It's kind of a mix of average loss and how often a vehicle is stolen. Tops in its ranking for being stolen, and near the top in the cost to insurers: Cadillac Escalade, pictured above. The ranking cover 2007 to 2009 model years when the age of the bling-bling SUV was starting to draw to a close.

Here's the full chart:

Highest, lowest average annual theft claim loss per 1,000 vehicles for 2007-20091 cars and trucks. Insurance industry annual ranking based on frequency of theft claims per 1,000 and average loss payment per 1,000:

Top 10 Frequency Average payment Average loss/1000

Cadillac Escalade 10.8 $11,934 $128

Ford F-250 crew 4WD2 9.7 $9,636 $91

Infiniti G37 2-door2 7.1 $10,324 $71

Dodge Charger HEMI 7.1 $10,118 $69

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 1.7 $41,229 $68

Hummer H2 4WD 6.2 $10,324 $62

Nissan Pathfinder Armada 4.5 $12,458 $54

Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 7.4 $7,571 $54

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew 8 $6,814 $53

GMC Yukon 5.7 $9,499 $52


All 2007-09 vehicles 2.1 $6,883 $14

Bottom 10

Volvo S80 0.8 $619 $1

Saturn Vue 4WD2 0.7 $1,445 $1

Nissan Murano3 0.7 $1,790 $1

Saturn Vue2 0.6 $2,340 $1

Honda Pilot 4WD3 0.8 $1,927 $2

Subaru Impreza2 0.9 $1,858 $2

Toyota Prius 0.8 $2,203 $2

Mini Cooper 0.8 $2,134 $2

Toyota Tacoma double 4WD 2.8 $619 $2

Toyota Sienna 4WD 0.8 $2,203 $2

1 - unless otherwist noted; 2 - 2008-2009; 3 - 2009. Source: Highway Loss Data Institute



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Once again, Escalade is No. 1 in the car-theft department

Updated 8h 49m ago

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

The bling-bling era may have faded for car buyers, but apparently not for auto thieves.

The Cadillac Escalade, a big luxury sport-utility vehicle, once the favorite of rappers and moguls alike, remains tops for average insurance theft losses, according to the insurance industry's Highway Loss Data Institute report out today.

Other automotive eye candy, such as the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, also placed high on the theft-loss list — but so did the workhorse Ford F-250 crew cab pickup with four-wheel drive.

CHART: Highest, lowest theft rates among cars

Suburban cruisers were least likely to be stolen. Volvo's S80 sedan had the lowest average loss, followed by crossovers Saturn Vue, Nissan Murano and Honda Pilot. "Sedate family cars and fuel sippers aren't on the hot list," says Kim Hazelbaker, the institute's senior vice president. "Thieves are after chrome, horsepower and Hemis."

The annual report looks at three years of theft data — model years 2007 to 2009 are covered by the latest. Ranking is by average theft claim paid out per 1,000 vehicles insured — a figure calculated on the basis of the vehicle's theft rate and the average amount paid in insurance claims for each theft.

Escalade has topped the list for six of the past seven reports. Not only is the pricey vehicle targeted by thieves, but the average loss per vehicle stolen is among the highest, at $11,934. The institute says that nearly one in four loss claims for the Escalade exceeded $40,000. The stretch EXT four-wheel-drive version had the highest theft loss of all.

Despite Escalade's No. 1 status, however, the institute says theft claims for SUVs overall dropped by more than half from 1998 to 2008.

In contrast, there has been a surge in the theft of large pickups, such as the Ford F-250 and Chevrolet Avalanche. Besides the vehicles themselves, such trucks often are laden with work tools or other valuables that enhance their value to a thief.

Also popular are performance cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Dodge Charger version with a Hemi V-8 engine.

Loss figures are based on claims paid by 80% of the nation's auto insurers, the institute says.

Cadillac officials say they are working hard to make Escalade more theft-resistant. It now has the latest generation of engine immobilizer and steering-wheel lock with a computer chip integrated into the key fob, says spokesman Nick Twork. For 2011, Escalade is getting laminated glass in side windows that is tougher to smash.

Twork says, however, there is little automakers can do to thwart professional thieves who go to extreme measures such as using tow trucks to steal vehicles. As for Escalade: "It's a very desirable vehicle at the end of the day," Twork says.

While Volvo's flagship S80 is "truly worth stealing," says spokesman Dan Johnston, the brand credits its first-place showing for lowest theft claims to making the car hard to steal.

The S80 has "systems in place that make it almost impossible to open, start and drive away," Johnston says. Besides the ignition immobilizer, the car also has a key fob that can have only one of millions of electronic codes needed to start the engine.

The good news on auto theft: FBI data show claims fell 23% from 1998 to 2008. The average loss rose about 12% to $6,751 in the same period.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau, based on the FBI data, says California, Texas and Florida were the top states for auto thefts in 2008 and Vermont, Wyoming and South Dakota were the lowest.



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Cadillac Escalade A Beacon For Thieves, Says Insurance Data

By Bengt Halvorson

Deputy Editor

August 3rd, 2010

2010 Dodge Charger SR8Enlarge PhotoIf you plan to purchase a Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 Crew Cab, Infiniti G37, or Dodge Charger Hemi, you might want to check in with your insurance agent first.

Why? Because these vehicles have the highest theft rates (from inside, or of the vehicle itself) of any models one to three years old.

According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), the affiliate organization of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which released its annual list of vehicles with the highest theft losses, it's a significant difference; each of these vehicles have losses that are three to five times higher than for the average vehicle.

The Cadillac Escalade is quite the target, in fact. For six out of the past seven years, the Escalade has topped the list, with average losses at about seven times that of the average passenger vehicle. And specifically for the Escalade EXT 4WD, insurers pay out an average $146 in theft losses per year—ten times the average theft payout across all vehicles. Now that's a number that no doubt figures into insurance premiums.

One out of every four Escalade theft claims runs $40,000 or more. Onboard theft deterrents (except possibly tracking devices) don't so much matter, with sophisticated, determined thieves often simply loading them up on a flatbed truck and hauling them away. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is also an expensive one when the entire car is stolen, with totals averaging $41,229 for that. But the HLDI ranks it far below the Dodge Charger Hemi, which despite a $10,118 average claim is stolen so frequently that it has the fourth highest losses.

Large luxury SUVs like the Escalade had the worst theft losses overall, averaging $82 per year, while large pickups were the next highest at $57 per vehicle per year. Two-door minicars, like the Smart Fortwo, were the lowest, at just $4 per insured vehicle per year. It seems that either buyers of small, frugal cars are very careful about leaving things in view, or that thieves simply look to the larger, more luxurious vehicle.

Family cars and vehicles with high fuel economy figures are missing from the most-targeted list, according to the Institute. "Thieves are after chrome, horsepower, and Hemis," commented HLDI senior VP Kim Hazelbaker in a release.

Large pickups are the group to watch, according to the HLDI, with theft rates having risen sharply from 1999 to 2006 with the booming of the housing and construction business. These trucks are targeted because of the expensive tools or cargo they might carry, Hazelbaker said.

The Volvo S80, Saturn Vue and Nissan Murano were among those with the lowest average theft losses. And the Toyota Prius continued to rank among the lowest in theft claims. Another surprise is the fashionable Mini Cooper; while it's no doubt desirable, thieves tend to avoid it.

Click on to the next page to see the Highway Loss Data Institute's vehicles with the highest and lowest theft losses.



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Cadillac Escalade Once Again Tops America’s Most Stolen Vehicle List

By Viknesh Vijayenthiran


August 3rd, 2010

2010 Cadillac Escalade EXTEnlarge Photo

The Cadillac Escalade is undoubtedly popular with a wide range of people, but especially so with car thieves, who made the luxury SUV and pickup their number one choice for stealing this year. Meanwhile, the Volvo S80 sedan was the least popular with thieves and was 14 times less likely to be stolen when compared to the desirable Escalade.

The information comes from the Highway Loss Data Institute, which worked with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in compiling the data. The Cadillac Escalade led the charge for the most stolen luxury vehicles, and captained a number of other large, luxury SUVs as the most stolen vehicles in America. Ford's F-250 truck, as well as the Nissan Pathfinder Armada and a number of Chevy pickups and SUVs also made the top ten list.

However, a number of sports models were also rated high on the list, with the Infiniti G37 rating as the third most stolen, followed by the Hemi-powered Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 in fourth and fifth spots respectively.

A spokesman for the IIHS postulated that thieves chose large popular vehicles such as the Cadillac Escalade because of their mass appeal, and potential for reselling or parts-stripping. Location was also an important factor, with most family sedans and smaller cars located in garages or other secure locations. These cars also have less expensive parts than large luxury SUVs, and many SUV owners also customize their cars with high-end sound systems, expensive wheels, and bespoke interiors, making them even more attractive to thieves.

The Cadillac Escalade is no stranger to lists such as these, appearing on the top ten most stolen luxury vehicles list for the past couple of years now. This is despite GM's best efforts to beef up its security with technology such as the OnStar system.

America's top ten stolen vehicles is as follows:

1) Cadillac Escalade

2) Ford F-250 Crew 4WD

3) Infiniti G37 Coupe

4) Dodge Charger HEMI

5) Chevrolet Corvette Z06


7) Nissan Pathfinder Armada

8 ) Chevrolet Avalanche 1500

9) Chevrolet Silverado Crew 1500

10) GMC Yukon



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Cadillac Escalade tops U.S. most ripped-off list; Volvo S80 at the bottom

AutoWeek -- August 5, 2010 - 2:04 pm ET

Thieves in the United States still love their performance cars and monstrous SUVs and trucks.

The Cadillac Escalade remains the most stolen car in the United States, the Highway Loss Data Institute said this week. The Escalade was followed by the Ford F250 pickup, the Infiniti G37, the Hemi Dodge Charger (not the V6 though) and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

The least stolen? Volvo's S80 sedan had the lowest average loss, followed by cars that thieves apparently found dull, including the Saturn Vue, the Nissan Murano and the Honda Pilot.

Kim Hazelbaker, the institute's senior vice president, said fuel sippers aren't on the hot list. She said crooks want chrome, horsepower and Hemis.

The institute's report looks at three years of theft data with model years 2007 to 2009 covered by the latest. Rankings are by average claim paid per 1,000 vehicles insured.

The Escalade has been the most ripped-off vehicle for six of the past seven reports.

Cadillac told USA Today that it's working to make the Escalade more theft-resistant with an engine immobilizer and a steering-wheel lock with a computer chip in the key fob. For 2011, the Escalade is getting laminated glass in the side windows that is tougher to smash.

Meanwhile, Volvo told the newspaper that the S80 is worth stealing; it's just that Volvo has made it hard to do so by including a key fob that can have only one of millions of codes needed to fire it up.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100805/RETAIL/100809892/1257#ixzz0vlpDfXQ4

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