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It's that time of year again. No, not election season, but the time when the Top 10 Most Stolen Cars of 2010 list is released. Is your car on it? Let's find out.
The Highway Loss Data Institute collects and studies insurance data that shows the "human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles." The Institute's website lists which vehicles are this year's most stolen cars. According to The Los Angeles Times, the list for 2010 looks like this:
10. Chevrolet Tahoe
9. GMC Yukon XL
8. Hummer H2
7. Nissan Maxima
6. GMC Sierra Crew Cab
5. Infiniti G47 coupe
4. Chevrolet Avalanche
3. Dodge Charger
2. Chevrolet Silverado
1. Cadillac Escalade
Now that you have this information, what should you do with it? First consider that all sources are different. You may notice the lack of Toyotas and Hondas on this list, usually a perennial favorite of car thieves. Are even car thieves put off by the troubles with Toyotas this past year? Probably not. Chalk it up to different lists with different results. The rundown of the most stolen cars from the National Insurance Crime Bureau is full of the usual suspects, including the Toyota Camry, two makes of Hondas, and several Fords. Number one on the NICB list is the 2009 Toyota Corolla.
No matter which list your car is on, or not at all, there are some things you can do to protect yourself. As NBC San Diego reports, newer cars are getting harder to steal, so car thieves are looking for those easy take-out items such as GPS devices, laptops, cell phones and wallets. Here are some safety tips suggested by NBC that might help protect you, your belongings and your vehicle: park only in a well-lit, highly visible location; don't get out of the car if you see suspicious people; park in high traffic areas whenever possible; remove all interior valuables from view; lock your doors and roll up all windows; use a car alarm and alarm decals. These are common sense ideas, but very useful, especially if you happen to own an Escalade this year.