The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) looked at the cost of replacement parts for the Top 10 stolen vehicles from the 2016 model year and uncovered how lucrative illegal operations can be that chop up these units — and potentially take away business from your dealership’s service drive.
NICB insisted that expensive parts will continue to drive thefts as criminals steal cars and trucks to strip them and sell the parts on the black market.
Thefts of vehicles in the U.S. rose again last year by more than 4 percent, according to preliminary 2017 crime data from the FBI. Officials indicated many of the vehicles that are recovered are missing wheels and rims or other key parts, while ones that are never recovered end up in chop shops where they are quickly dismantled and sold piece by piece.
The NICB pulled average OEM part prices from a database of more than 24 million vehicle damage appraisals generated for insurance claims from 2016 and 2017. Parts such as bumpers, doors, fenders, hoods and headlights were on the list. Major components like the engine and transmission were not included.
Here are three examples of what bureau officials found:
—The 2016 Toyota Camry, the most stolen 2016 model in their latest “Hot Wheels” report, had 15 commonly replaced components valued at nearly $11,000. That’s not including labor.
—The 2016 Nissan Altima had 14 standard components worth more than $14,000, including a single headlamp assembly valued at more than $1,000.
—And the 2016 GMC Sierra pickup truck included a $1,100 headlamp and a rear bumper worth more than $1,100. The 20 standard components rang in at more than $21,000.
“For the professional theft ring, stealing and stripping vehicles for parts has always been a lucrative business,” NICB senior vice president and chief operating officer Jim Schweitzer said. “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.
“We support law enforcement efforts, especially the auto theft task forces that focus on these kinds of theft rings,” Schweitzer continued. “Shutting down a theft ring and a chop shop can have a major impact on reducing thefts in a community.”