According to the Alameda County Regional Auto Theft Task Force, the makes and models listed below are the “Top Ten” vehicles stolen in most often in Berkeley and the rest of Alameda County during October of 2012.
If you drive one of these models, take precautions to ensure that when you return to your vehicle, it’s still there!
Quirks of the Honda ignition system — especially on the Civic — are said to let thieves steal these cars more easily than some other makes.RANK MAKE/MODEL YEAR RANGE TOTAL STOLEN 1 Honda Civic 1992-2000 167 2 Honda Accord 1990-1997 161 3 Nissan Maxima 1995-1998 44 4 Acura Integra 1991-1998 33 5 Ford Pickup 1997-2012 25 6 Toyota Camry 1988-1991 22 7 Honda CRV 1997-2001 17 8 Nissan Altima 1995-1997 12 9 Infinity i30 1996-1997 9 10 Nissan Sentra 1993-1994 9
Below are some tips you can use to avoid being the victim of a car thief:
- Never leave your car running unattended, even to dash into a business, store, etc.
- Never leave any keys in the car or ignition, inside a locked garage, or in hide-a-key boxes.
- Always roll up your windows and lock the car, even if it is parked in front of your home.
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk out of sight.
- Always park in high-traffic, well-lighted areas, when possible.
- Install a mechanical device that locks the steering wheel, column, or brakes. These devices will deter some criminals.
- Investigate the purchase of a vehicle theft tracking/security system, especially if you own one of the frequently stolen model vehicles.
- Never leave personal identification documents, vehicle ownership title, or credit cards in your vehicle.
- If you must leave your key with a valet, attendant, or mechanic leave only the ignition key. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable firm.
- In high theft areas the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be etched on windows, doors, fenders and trunk lid. This makes it difficult for a thief to market your stolen car parts.
- Copy your license plate and vehicle information (VIN) numbers on a card and keep them with you. If your vehicle is stolen, the police will need this information to take a report.
- Many vehicles today come with some type of security system from the factory. Normally there are upgraded systems available if you ask. The best choices are systems that shut off the fuel supply so that a car can't be started or driven.