Costly Parts Are Making Vehicles A Tempting Target For Thieves

There’s a saying that “crime never pays” but whoever said it probably wasn’t a car thief.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the rising cost of replacements parts have made vehicles an appealing target for criminals. Preliminary data from the FBI shows the number of car thefts rose by more than four percent last year and the organization believes this is partially due to the profits that can be made from stolen parts.

To get a better grip on the situation, the NICB examined the cost of common replacement parts on 2016 model year vehicles which appear on its ten most stolen list. The replacement prices were determined by averaging the costs from a database of over 24 million vehicle damage appraisals generated from insurance claims made in 2016 and 2017.

The 2016 Toyota Camry is the most stolen 2016 vehicle and the NICB says it has 15 commonly replaced components that are valued at approximately $11,000. This includes things such as $544 hood and $411 alloy wheels.

The 2016 Nissan Altima was even more expensive as it has 14 common components worth $14,236.

However, thieves wanting to maximize their profits will probably want to check out the 2016 GMC Sierra. The truck has 20 common components that are worth more than $21,000. Among the more expensive items are a $1,144 headlamp assembly, a $995 front bumper and a $724 tailgate.

Some of these components are relatively easy to steal and internet makes it incredibly easy to resell parts to unsuspecting buyers on sites like Craigslist and eBay.

According to NICB Senior Vice President and COO Jim Schweitzer, “On today’s cars and trucks, the parts are often worth more than the intact vehicle and may be easier to move and sell. That’s why we see so many thefts of key items like wheels and tires and tailgates … there’s always a market for them.


  • Honda NSX-R

    Haven’t costly parts on cars always made cars a tempting target for theives? Iirc the Honda S2000 seats made the S2000 a tempting target for theives

    • Mike Gauthier

      I think the really interesting changes are coming soon as the number of vehicles that use aluminum components (doors, tailgate etc) increase.

      Tailgates are designed to be easily removable but thieves probably don’t have a ton of incentive to steal a $724 component they can flip for around $200 or so. However, if an aluminum tailgate costs significantly more and there aren’t a ton of them on the market yet, because it’s from a new model, they could probably get quite a bit more for the same effort.

  • Status

    People knew not to steal long before the ten commandments were written. More importantly, nobody should on the ten commandments as more than half of them are inapplicable to the western developed 1st world.

    It’s best to leave all of the mistakes invented in the middle east firmly in the middle east.

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