Update on Car Theft and Security

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Update on Auto Theft and Security Sales

Car theft remains rampant in some pockets of the US and Canada, although it may have dropped from its peak.

The trend has caused the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to forecast a small jump in security sales this year of three percent in dollar sales to dealers.

But VOXX said security sales (VOXX and Directed models) have been unaffected by the crime wave.

“While we are seeing the same news articles of increased vehicle theft across the country, our pure vehicle security sales remain consistent with months and years in the past.  We are also experiencing the same balance of sales between pure vehicle security, pure remote start, and security with remote start systems…” said Joe Dentamaro, VP Vehicle Security, VOXX Electronics.

Compustar Marketing Director Justin Lee said the company doesn’t have sales figures to report, but it said, “…We are seeing a growing interest in anti-theft solutions for vehicles, whether that be actual car alarms or dashcams (measured in terms of web traffic and social media engagement).”

Lee added, “We are hearing that things are particularly bad in Toronto, Ontario and Northern California [in terms of auto theft].”

Colorado is another area hard hit by auto theft.  Jared Nelson PDA Road Gear, Littleton, CO said, “Alarms are huge in Colorado. We’ve had more calls [regarding] stolen vehicles in the last two years than in the last 20.”

He added, “The Blue states are changing laws where car theft is no longer an arrestable offense but a $250 citation. Colorado has followed Washington State and California in adopting the laws, and we’ve got the highest stolen car rate in the country.  We’re doing more GPS trackers than we ever have before.  Someone needs to bring back LoJack. If they did, they would make millions.  I wish someone would.  Even years later, people still know the name. People are asking how to recover their car when its stolen or to track it.”

PDA Road Gear is installing Viper SmartStarts and Compustar Drone Mobiles as well as a lot of dashcams.

Chicago is a big area for automotive related thefts. Security is now 30 percent of Armondo Sounds’ business. “That’s a big jump. Before we weren’t doing a huge security business,” said Mohammed Arman.

“Chicago’s insane,” said Showtime Audio’s Jerry Villa. “They are stealing all the Dodges–Hemi or SRT, Hellcat, RTX, Trackhawk–any big motor car and also the Kia’s.  Any of the key start Kia’s were stolen like crazy in Chicago.  As far I know, it’s still going on.  If anything they are getting more brazen.  They are carjacking now too.”

Dealers said some Dodges are easy to steal. The thieves use a scan tool (the type a locksmith would use) to program a new key and then drive off with the car.

Showtime Audio, sells a pin code type of kill switch system that inhibits the car from starting and then a full Compustar alarm security system.  “For us it’s a little skewed.  We’re a boutique style retailer. For us security is 25 percent of our business. I know shops where it’s 90 percent in the area. It started about four or five years ago.”

Seattle is another trouble spot for car theft.  Manufacturer’s rep Dan McMillan of In Phase Marketing said CarToys does a particularly good job of adding security to a remote sale.  There’s an attach rate on a remote start of about 70 percent for add-on security for the chain.

In Albuquerque, NM, pick up truck and Dodge thefts are a problem.  “It’s been a problem going back ten years,” said shop owner Mike Robinson of Mesa Radio.  We have a lot of pickup trucks–Ford and Chevys in the mid 2000s.  They are easy to break into and then they are off to Mexico.”  “It’s quieted down a little.  The newer the car, the harder they are to steal.”   He has also seen a few Hyundai’s coming in for theft protection.

We should say that while Milwaukee is high on the list of automotive crime, two dealers we cold called there said they haven’t seen a change in demand for security.

National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) statistics, which go up to 2022, found the top cities for auto theft are:

  • Pueblo, CO. …
  • Albuquerque, NM. …
  • Portland, OR. …
  • San Fransisco, CA. …
  • Billings, MT. …
  • Milwaukee, WI. …
  • Seattle, WA. …
  • Yuba City, CA.

Additionally, the top three cities for Hyundai and Kia thefts in 2022 are Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago.  And Memphis, TN saw the highest increase in the thefts of these vehicles, jumping over 600 percent in 2022 over 2021.

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1 Comment

  1. VOXX sales not affected cause customers don’t know they can upgrade to a security system. Most people think it’s dealer only . Or remote start ad on.
    VOXX and many companies need to bring brand awareness to this. It can’t be only the dealer in that specific market. Advertise go out there like monster energy does and promote

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