“Dude, where’s my car?”

Katie Mullen

San Francisco is no stranger to theft. Namely, phone and car theft. According to statistics, every twenty-six seconds a vehicle is stolen in the United States. With San Francisco being a city of public transportation and walking travelers, cars are left for days at a time making them incredibly susceptible to theft.

Many studies and records over the years from an assortment of different sources show that certain cars are more targeted than others to be stolen. At the top of the list sits the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, and Ford F-Series, according to AutoTrader.com.  According to Statista, “various models of the Honda Accord have the undesirable reputation as America’s most stolen car for 2013.” So, if you are an owner of one of these cars, a car alarm and visible prevention methods should be practiced.

But what makes the Hondas so appealing for those looking to get a rush from lifting a car? Honda Motor Company was founded on September 24th, 1948 in Japan. Since then, Honda has been manufacturing and selling some of the most reliable, well-built cars on the road according to consumer reports.  The reliability of a Honda is what most consumers are seeking but it is also what thefts are seeking.

“Because Hondas are so well-built, specifically the Civic, they get a target on their hood to be stolen,” says Marty Rogers, who has been working as a mechanic in San Francisco for over fifteen years. “The parts for a Honda are in high demand. People will steal a car and sell the parts for money. Sad part is, there’s no way for me to know if the part I’m looking at was stolen or not.”

So, it seems that reliable engineering backfired into a negative thing for those that own cars sought after as easy targets. But if the car is protected well, it will last for years.

Not all cars that are stolen are scrapped and sold for parts. In the case of many lucky individuals, their cars are found in surrounding areas after the theft is reported. Officer E. Tindall of the San Francisco Police Department says, “ Often times when a car is taken from the SF State area, they are found just a few miles away.”

Tindall believes that the thieves get a rush of pleasure from stealing the car and take it for a joy ride until it is almost out of gas then they return to the area and leave it. Some cars that are stolen are used to commit a crime and then dumped so it is not linked to the person committing the crime.

The Holt family, who has been living in different parts of San Francisco for over thirty years, recently had their Honda Civic stolen from outside their house while they were not home. After filing the police report and waiting two weeks, they came to terms that the vehicle was gone for good.

“I woke up to the best birthday call ever,” says Karen Holt. “It was the SFPD calling to tell me that they had recovered my car at about 2a.m. that morning. I was so thankful that our little car was coming home and we will be installing an alarm immediately!”

Not all victims are as lucky as the Holt Family so it is recommended that you lock your doors, roll up your windows, and hide any valuable items in order to prevent the theft of your car.

Infographic: Honda Owners Are Most At Risk From Car Theft | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista