Thefts of third-row seats are on the rise, according to a report by KABC-TV 7, a trend highlighted by the recent burglary of third-row seats from 16 sport utility vehicles at a Chevrolet dealership in Simi Valley, California.

According to the Los Angeles ABC affiliate, thieves stole the seats in the dead of night after disabling the lot's light posts and breaking into the vehicles through their rear windows. At that point, a couple of simple latches securing each third row of seats to the interiors were all that stood between the thieves and what is estimated to be about $48,000 in stolen goods. According to the report, the seats are then usually sold on Craigslist and eBay.

Simi Valley Police Commander Stephanie Shannon says, "Third-row-seat thefts are a growing problem throughout the state of California and across the country," leading one reporter to state, "[Third-row seats are] the car radio for the new millennium." Unfortunately, no actual stats on the problem are cited as proof that the problem is growing. One might think this type of theft is actually less of a problem than it used to be, given that the full-size body-on-frame SUV segment – the type of vehicle where removable third row seats are most common – isn't as robust as it once was. However, it could be just that thieves are now catching on to the trend, and either way, it's still a problem.

Steve Gaines, owner of the affected Simi Valley Chevy dealership, says that he's since installed special locks to better secure the seats inside his SUVs, a move that owners may want to consider to protect themselves from such thefts.

Watch the video included below, and watch a similar report on Yahoo News, for more information on the growing problem.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      mtbgrove
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish the third row seat was a delete option. My third row has been in storage since I bought my SUV. Need the space for Bicycles.
      Redbird
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anyone else do the math and get that they are claiming the seats are worth ~$3000 each?
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 1 Year Ago
      To those of you asking why anyone would steal the third row seats, consider the following sales figures for the Tahoe alone. This doesn't include the sister vehicles, the Yukon and Escalade... 2007 - 146,256 2008 - 91,578 2009 - 73,254 2010 - 75,675 2011 - 80,527 2012 - 68,904 2013 - 54,794 Adding in the Yukon and Esclade sales, that's probably around 750,000 full-size body-on-frame GM SUVs that these seats could find a home in. I highly doubt all of them opted for the third-row seat option, but an scrolling through Craigslist or eBay and finding one for a fraction of the cost wouldn't think twice about it. A quick eBay search and I see these seats going for between $450 and $850. Not exactly a bad return for some crooks that only expended a very small amount of time and elbow grease. :-/
      Cayman
      • 1 Year Ago
      The locks really aren't a bad idea, but from the owner's perspective it may not be worth the pain. The problem with these thieves is the damage they do to get into your car is usually worse than what they steal. Once your repair your rear windshield, there's a good chance you're already beyond your comp deductable.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wheels and radios I can put in anything. Who buys a used 3rd row seat for a specific SUV?
        Swagger
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        \" Who buys a used 3rd row seat for a specific SUV?\" The same person that just had one stolen. That\'s who.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Someone who has that specific SUV and needs a 3rd row seat. Radios I really don't get anymore unless you are talking about an aftermarket navigation system. They seem cheap enough now that I don't see how it's worth the risk to steal one. What does a thief get for a stolen stereo that cost $150 new? $50 maybe?
      Seal Rchin
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anything that has value and can be easily taken will be stolen.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      $48,000 for 16 seats is $3,000 per seat. Those seats probably cost 5%-10% of that to produce. Perhaps if they didn't scalp the customer on these options, there wouldn't be this problem. This is similar to ceiling mounted flip down DVD players which go for as much as $1500 as an option, but the device isn't much different from a portable player that you can pick up for $50.
      Jeff Gordon
      • 1 Year Ago
      This article is startling but not surprising. Have you priced a 3rd seat option in and SUV lately? I have an older Mercedes ML and have a baby on the way due this Christmas, so we need the 3rd seat. The 3rd seat option was extremely rare on this car and used examples generally run as high as $1,500 on ebay. Thieves are stealing these items and hosting them on ebay the next day. I feel bad for the dealerships and it is somewhat astonishing that such a large item requiring quite a bit of work to remove would be a target.
      Army Casualty
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is why you buy a Ford product... they don't have the dumb antiquated removable third row that is a pain to remove and install. I really preferred pressing those buttons in my Expedition as opposed to banging my knee and breaking my back trying to wrangle that seat in and out of my suburban.
        GreaseMonkeySRT
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Army Casualty
        Considering GM has about 75% of the full size SUV market, plenty of people would disagree with you. Besides, the removable third row is disappearing on the 2015 GM full size SUV line-up.
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seriously, what do you do with a third row seat? Are they going to start putting them in civic's??
      icerabbit
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems all to easy to break into the back of those vehicles and not one had an alarm system? Or they have a basic alarm system without a contact on the trunk window? But then they have to open the tailgate I would think to hand over those seats ... so no alarm system??
        icerabbit
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icerabbit
        Just had a chance to watch the video. Seems an automatic window lock and an extra alarm sensor should be installed.
      jtdaven115
      • 1 Year Ago
      New sofas in the 3rd world.
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