A car thief may not be nearly as interested in trying to sell an intact vehicle as he or she is in stripping it down for individual parts. A new report from the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) shows that car thefts on the rise have a lot do with the value of parts themselves, not the car.
“On today’s cars and trucks, the parts are often worth more than the intact vehicle and may be easier to move and sell,” NICB COO Jim Schweitzer said in a statement. “That’s why we see so many thefts of key items like wheels and tires and tailgates … there’s always a market for them.”
For example, a 2016 GMC Sierra, which is the third most-stolen vehicle on the list, has 20 standard components amounting to $21,332. It’s easier for thieves to remove various parts and sell them than try to push the actual car, which has a used value of $28,230. A single headlight can net over $1,000, and the Sierra’s rear bumper assembly is worth just as much.
And the wheels? If a thief manages to grab all four of them, the set is worth almost $3,000 alone.
In 2017, car thefts rose 4.1 percent, and they’ve been on the rise since 2014. And these days, if investigators do recover a car, it’s often missing components that sell for quick cash.