• Feb 3rd 2009 at 3:58PM
  • 25
More and more people are adding electronic gadgetry to their car's arsenal after their initial purchase, which often makes sense since it almost always costs less to add audio equipment or GPS navigation from an aftermarket company than it does to spec if from the factory.

Sadly, recent statistics prove that you'd better be careful with that shiny new piece of technology. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 24,700 portable navigation systems were swiped in 2008, representing a whopping 700% increase over 2006. While the number in thefts has rocketed skyward, the number of units sold have likewise gone supernova, leading us to wonder if the actual percentage of thefts over units in service has changed appreciably overall.

Apple's iPod is also attractive to thieves, who stole 17,000 of the little music players in '08. Perhaps the rise in iPod thefts helps explain why half as many car stereos (14,000) were stolen last year than in 2006, although we are willing to bet that automakers' continued move away from standard-sized, non-integrated head units is also a major factor.

Our common sense advice? Add-on nav systems and iPods are portable for a reason... remove them from your car when you leave it parked. Disaster averted.

[Source: Ecommerce Journal]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just add a buddy tracker to trace the units, which in turn will lead to the theft, that sort of technology is allmost in the market, so find one and it becomes an added advantage for the owner of that small asset..
      May be it could be taken as a suggestion..

      Map maker
      • 6 Years Ago
      I put mine in the trunk when I get out... But we are missing the point here. A GPS unit should be the easiest thing in the world to locate.. If it has wifi, you send a message to it, it then tells you it's location.. Go get your GPS (with a cop of course)....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't understand only one thing. Who's so stupid to leave a navigation system in the car ???
        • 6 Years Ago
        Apparently a lot of people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's why I like the little storage compartment on the top center of the dash on my wife's HHR. When the GPS is in use, open the compartment. When not in use, close the compartment and noone knows it is there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thieves will steal anything. A thief broke into my car and stole my gym bag, like wtf.
      I guess he was desperate for soiled underwear and socks.

      • 6 Years Ago
      They are also grabbing the garage door openers, and using nav systems to lead them back to the owners houses. People at NFL games have had their entire houses emptied since the thieves knew they would be at the game for 4 hours.

      Another one: They steal your cellphone, look for a contact like: wife, or hubby. Then they text message that number and ask for pin #s, etc. Since the call is coming from wifey, it gets texted back, and there goes your bamk account before the misses even realizes the phone is missing.

      Clever stuff.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For this reason, I suggest to lock your phone with a pin code. Almost all phones have it as a feature somewhere deep in the menu. My centro is useless in the hands of a thief without the pin, unless he's a black-hat hacker.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My wife's car was broken into a few weeks ago here in Chicago. Originally when I purchased the $150 GPS unit during the Black Friday weekend last, I was worried about leaving it on the dashboard... but then realized that majority of the "sales" are $100 to $150, so no one will bother breaking into her car.

      So one Friday evening, parking just a few yards from a main road (North Ave & Western, in Wicker Park), she leaves her car for about 2-hours while it was snowing that evening. She returns to find the front passenger window busted with the GPS unit stolen, with the window suction and the power cord.

      Aside from the replacement GPS (another $230), we were out $250 for the window replacement and the $150 for the original GPS. $400 that was not worth leaving the GPS exposed.

      Lesson learned.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sorry but that was pretty stupid on your part. What criminal would care about how much you paid retail for the unit? Heck, they'd steal a cell phone that was $0.00 if you leave it lying on your seat.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Cali just instituted a new law that requires you to place your GPS in the front left corner of the windshield, or the front right(!). This is actually pretty stupid IMO because if you have to charge your GPS you will be passing a cord past the steering column, which could cause some dangerous problems if it gets tangled. The front right corner is stupid for obvious reasons.

      My ex-gf got a ticket for using a weighted dash mat as the base for the GPS. This should be legal because it sits closer to the driver for less reaching, it does not block the outward view of the road, and you don't leave suction cup marks on the windshield, which will reduce thefts.

      Who do I write to to complain about this stupid law?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I thought Cali was saying you couldn't have anything attached to the windshield?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's no surprise, count on California to over-regulate everything
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is no corner of Wabash and Division in Chicago.

      Defective nav.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe it's in another city?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Suction cap marks left on the windshield will get your car burglarized, too. So you not only have to hide your GPS and bracket, but wipe the windshield clean, too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I put mine in the trunk when I get out... But we are missing the point here. A GPS unit should be the easiest thing in the world to locate.. If it has wifi, you send a message to it, it then tells you it's location.. Go get your GPS (with a cop of course)....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I used to be the Po Po and took reports of car prowls every day. I was amazed at what people left in their cars.

      Mortgage application records from their work.

      I had to be careful not to give them that dumba## look after they listed what was stolen.

      I always told people (ie non car enthusiasts) to buy the best factory stereo they could afford. But I did see a decrease of car stereo thefts over the last several years. GPSs take about .2 seconds to steal. Sucks to get your window broken out too.
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