Thieves May Want Your Campus Car!


Nissan Sentra

We all know that car theft remains a persistent problem, an issue that overwhelms some police departments particularly in urban areas. For college students who must rely on personal transportation, having a car on hand is convenient, but is fraught with risks. Finding parking can be a challenge, paying for gas and upkeep gets expensive, and securing your ride from thieves can be daunting.

That old 1994 Nissan Sentra your mother handed down to you when she bought herself a new car may not seem like something that thieves would want, but a survey by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) reveals that a ’94 Sentra is a favorite for thieves. The reason? Not for its value as a complete car, rather for the worth of its individual parts.

For the past two years the most stolen vehicles in the nation were:

2007 Ranking 2006 Ranking

1. 1995 Honda Civic 1. 1995 Honda Civic 2. 1991 Honda Accord 2. 1991 Honda Accord 3. 1989 Toyota Camry 3. 1989 Toyota Camry 4. 1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup 4. 1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup 5. 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup 5. 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup 6. 1994 Acura Integra 6. 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup 7. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup 7. 1994 Nissan Sentra 8. 1994 Nissan Sentra 8. 1994 Dodge Caravan 9. 1988 Toyota Pickup 9. 1994 Saturn SL 10. 2007 Toyota Corolla 10. 1990 Acura Integra

The NICB study (HotWheels 2008) confirms that theft of older model vehicles has remained constant for the past several years. Thieves continue to target these vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts.

But the news isn’t completely grim when it comes to car theft. The FBI’s preliminary Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data shows that motor vehicle theft is headed for an 8.9% decrease in 2007; that data will be finalized later this year.

The NICB advises that all motorists consider employing several methods to combat car theft from the commonsensical (lock your car doors and take the keys with you) to the more aggressive which includes installing warning and tracking devices, even an immobilizing device which would prevent someone from starting it.

Students who live on campus should contact their school’s security force to find out which lots on campus are the most vulnerable for car theft. For students living off campus, a call to the local police department should reveal which neighborhoods are particularly at risk.


Adv. — Do you need a car for the upcoming school year? Research which automobile best meets your needs and explore how to maintain your ride to give you many years of fun driving.


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Categories: Campus Cars