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Report: Escalades most likely to be stolen

August 3, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Whether it's a large vehicle or simply has lots of horsepower, auto thieves are thinking big, apparently. A report says the Cadillac Escalade, a car that's popular with Hollywood celebs, is the vehicle most likely to be stolen.Researchers say that the usual claim for the stolen Escalades is more than $40,000 per vehicle, and the average theft rate for the Escalade is more than seven times that of all other vehicles.

It's not just the SUV the thieves want - they want what's in it.

"The wheels are gone, the interior, the very expensive interior, perhaps with the video players and the head restraints and all of that, that's been taken out, and all that's left is pretty much just the shell of the vehicle," said Kim Hazelbaker of the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Yossi Berukhim of Studio City owns an Escalade, and he said he knows how popular the Escalades are with auto thieves.

"One day, got up in the morning, and my third row of seats were stolen," he said.

The Ford F-250, the Infiniti G37, Dodge Charger (with HEMI engine) and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 round out the top five list of vehicles most likely to be stolen.

The Highway Loss Data Institute, which is part of the Arlington-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, calculated theft claim rates for vehicles from the 2007-2009 model years. The data reports thefts per insured vehicles on the road.

According to researchers, the theft rates for those trucks and cars are three to five times as high as for other vehicles.

"It's tough to pinpoint why a particular vehicle might be on the list, but work trucks this year, which are a big target, maybe (it's) because of what's in the bed," Hazelbaker said.

Many of the big pickups are carrying valuable tools and cargo, and it's often what thieves are after.

Thieves don't seem to be after the sedate family sedans and fuel-efficient cars. The least likely to be stolen include the Volvo S80, Saturn VUE and the Toyota Prius.

MOST LIKELY
Cadillac Escalade large SUV ($11,934)
Ford F-250 crew cab pickup ($9,636)
Infiniti G37 two-door luxury car ($10,324)
Dodge Charger (with HEMI engine) large car ($10,118)
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sports car ($41,229)
Hummer H2 large SUV ($10,324)
Nissan Pathfinder/Armada large SUV ($12,458)
Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 truck ($7,571)
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab pickup ($6,814)
GMC Yukon large SUV ($9,499)

LEAST LIKELY
Volvo S80 large car ($619)
Saturn VUE four-wheel-drive midsize SUV ($1,445)
Nissan Murano midsize SUV ($1,790)
Saturn VUE midsize SUV ($2,340)
Honda Pilot midsize SUV ($1,927)
Subaru Impreza small wagon ($1,85)
Toyota Prius small car ($2,203)
Mini Cooper subcompact ($2,134)
Toyota Tacoma small pickup ($619)
Toyota Sienna minivan ($2,203)

AVERAGE, ALL PASSENGER VEHICLES ($6,883)

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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