By on August 15, 2011

“How do I avoid car theft?”headlines a UK website. The felonious misappropriation of automobiles is a menace, and everybody has his or her solution. Police departments use bait cars. Murilee uses secret kill switches, fabricated from “a spring-type clothespin ziptied into the underdash wiring harness, with electrical contacts in the jaws.” And what do they recommend across the pond to thwart a thief? You either put a stuffed animals in your car. Or you buy a Ford Ka3.

The Ka3 is burglary-proof, says the site.

“The least stolen car, based on customer data, is the Ford Ka3 with no incidences of theft among 9,070 owners between 2004-2011.” The website interviewed a former car burglar turned security export who said:

  “A Ford Ka is not very likely to be stolen as thieves will view them as cheap, with no power, and no street cred among thieves.”

And what about the cars you have to watch all day, because they will be gone in the blink of an eye?

“The cars that are much more likely to be targeted are the BMW 3.5, Jaguar XJ, Mercedes C Class, and Range Rover Sport. These are sought after by car thieves as they are very fast, powerful, hold the road well and are built well. Protection on these vehicles will be high so it’s about getting hold of the keys. Manufacturers should include a tracker on new vehicles as standard.”

Now who trusts a thief, even if it’s a former thief? The website is Confused.com, which, despite its name, prides itself:

“Confused.com was the first price comparison website in the UK. We compare a wide range of trusted household names for car insurance; home insurance; gas, electricity and other utilities for your home; holidays and travel insurance; pet insurance; caravan insurance; and money products such as credit cards, savings and life insurance.”

According to Confused’s data …

“the Toyota Yaris is the number one most stolen car, according to a study by insurance comparison site Confused.com  with a 0.41% incidence of theft. This means that car thieves drive off with approximately one in every 244 Toyota Yaris. Data looking at claims from 2004-2011 showed experts at Confused.com that after the Toyota Yaris, The Volkswagen Touareg  (0.39%) (1 in 256); Volvo XC90 (0.27%) (1 in 370); Porsche 911 (0.24%) (1 in 417) and Seat Altea (0.23%) (1 in 435) are the next most stolen cars.”

The thief doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about. But then, Confused.com must live up to its name.

And if you don’t want a Ka3, and you still desire to sleep well at night?

“The Chevrolet Matiz, Suzuki Ignis, Hyundai I10 Comfort and Nissan Skyline have tiny theft rates of 0.02% (1 in 5000) or less.”

And if you absolutely want to make sure that the car is still there tomorrow, simply use the most powerful deterrent there is: Stuffed animals. Says Confused:

“If a car has flowers painted on it or fluffy toys inside it’s not a car that is likely be stolen because it draws the wrong sort of attention and they tend to be cheaper cars.”

Are we confused yet?

(Hat tip to an anonymous tipster from Glasgow, G42 8BG)

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17 Comments on “How To Thwart Car Thiefs For Good: Ford Or Fluffy, Your Choice...”


  • avatar
    redliner

    One of my neighbors has a neon pink last gen civic with a Hello Kitty vinyl on the front doors. In the winter, she leaves it running in her driveway sometimes. She says no one will ever steal her car because it’s to “fabulous.” I agree, but for different reasons.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    So the Ka isn’t wanted because it’s slow and cheap, yet the slow and cheap Yaris is the most stolen car?

    Something’s missing here. Most likely a realistic analysis.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Hmmm, if you don’t want to steal a Ford Ka because it’s cheap, has no power, and no street cred, why would you steal a Yaris, which suffers basically the same kind of attributes? Confused indeed!

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      Do Yares sell for a premium in European markets where fuel is much more expensive than it is here? Perhaps it’s a case that these are being stolen to be flipped right away over the boarder. I know nothing of the European market so this is a wild guess.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Silly theives, you steal the car with the most valuable or commonly sought after parts. Do that a few times and you can ‘buy’ a car with great handling dynamics/street cred.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Modern day equivalent of the 87 Chevy cavalier wagon.

  • avatar

    Stolen Seat Alteas. Who’d have thought?
    @tankinbeans: To steal a RHD drive car in the UK for bringing across the borders seems to be not so smart.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    In the USA you’re pretty safe from drive-offs if your car has a stick shift.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      Yeah, and your bicycle totally won’t get stolen if it’s a fixie!

      (spoiler: your stickshift car will get stolen just as readily as an automatic; with the exception of the transmission the parts are just as valuable, and they’re not that much harder to drive. I mean, if I can do it…)

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        “…your stickshift car will get stolen just as readily as an automatic…they’re not that much harder to drive…”

        True, but a car thief is most likely going to want to make a quick getaway without drawing too much attention to him/herself. If you’re stalling a car every two feet people are going to get suspicious (this is not to say that all car thieves are incapable, but I would guess the number who are proficient enough to get out of there is proportional to the rest of the population). I mean if you’re a novice you can show an officer, who may get suspicious, proof of ownership (insurance card if you’ve had it long enough, or the temporary tag which, at least in my state, has the buyer’s name/license number). A car thief would not have any of this.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        herb got a brilliant idea here.. in the U.S., if you don’t want your car to get stolen, get a RHD and stick shift model! Or just an unpopular model. That unsalable brown AMC convertible featured here a while back might do the trick…

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Most other Fords have chipped keys You cant make them run at all the KA uses an old anglia engine the ONLY good part on it

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    I did a post on immobilizers last November and after lots of research. I found out that the there is a non profit body known as Thatham, out of Thatcham England that regulates and certifies alarms and immobilizer systems for the car and that most cars are now required to have at least an immobilizer (cat 2) whereby it has to be permanently installed and passively armed/unarmed and control at least 2 systems or more.

    These are often electronically done using the ECU and a chipped key that is programmed to your car. What this does is it can disable the ignition circuit if the wrong key is used, the fuel injection or the fuel pump, or all 3 systems and once the 6th failed attempt is done, the system locks out, preventing any more tries until the rightful owner with the right keys comes along and attempts to start the car, the system will recognize the correct key and start.

    By this time, the thief has long gone onto something else most likely. It’s been I think required in most of Europe and the UK and here in N. America too since at least the mid to late 1990’s though some manufacturers like GM began using an earlier setup as early as 1986. In the case of GM, the early VATS system with the black chip embedded in the shank of the ignition key and was first deployed in the 1986 Corvette.

    So these immobilizers should be reducing thefts or this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  • avatar
    ninjacoco

    We not only covered our LeMons car in stuffed animals for BS inspections, but we also dressed it up like a giant stuffed bunny rabbit.

    Funny…nobody stole our rusty oil-devouring lilac bunny Type 3.

    It works!

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Does anybody here see any use in using the steering wheel locking feature to prevent theft?

    Periodically I go through periods where I use it, and periods where I don’t. I’ve never been quite convinced that it does anything other than making turning the key a little more difficult.


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