TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Are you driving the most stolen car in the nation? The most stolen car in Tyler? Are they one and the same? Is the car you're driving more or less tempting to car thieves?
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the most attractive car in the nation to hotwire specialists is General Motors Company's Escalade. They say the thieves like "…chrome, horsepower and Hemis." Gary King with the East Texas Auto Task Force says they make more money off higher-end cars.
"A lot of those top ten in the United States are professional car thieves and they're literally stealing thousands and thousands of them," he explained. "It's a big market."
Other cars on the national list include the Ford F-250, Infinity G37, Dodge Charger Hemi and the Corvette. But, here in East Texas it is a different story, partly because of geography.
"Where we are bordering another country influences what kind of vehicles are stolen in Texas," King explained. "Trucks are popular here in Texas, so that's what's going to be popular to the thieves."
Twenty Chevy pickups were stolen in Tyler last year. Ford pick-ups took a close second with 18. Locally, car thieves are targeting older vehicles.
"The newer vehicle technology has advanced to the point where Anti-theft devices that are put on vehicles are a lot better than they used to be so the vehicles are harder to steal," King said. "Older vehicles are easier and the parts are more in demand."
The third most stolen car in Tyler is the Dodge Pickup followed by the Caprice and Ford Mustang. Completely differing from what the pros are looking for.
Fortunately, most professional car thieves are in larger cities.
"When they target a car, they're going to get the car. You need insurance. But, the other 70-80 percent that aren't professional car thieves, we can prevent that by simply removing the car from the vehicle," King added.
He says most stolen cars in East Texas are crimes of opportunity. Gary King also pointed out that some of the vehicles stolen locally, end up in Mexico.
So, what was the least stolen vehicle? The Volvo S80. Maybe it's time for a trade-in.