MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Over 12,000 vehicles were stolen in South Carolina in 2013, according to SLED, and a group has collected data to determine the 10 most stolen vehicles in the Palmetto State last year.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau examined data submitted to law enforcement to the National Crime Information center and determined the makes, models and years of the vehicles that were most reported stolen in 2015.
The NICB also determined the vehicle theft "hot spots" in South Carolina, ranking the cities and metropolitan areas that had the highest rate of car theft. Columbia was the top spot in the state, and the 34th-highest ranked hot spot in the nation with 3,165 thefts, or 390.71 per 100,000 residents. Next were Greenville with 3,155 thefts in 2015, then Florence with 629 (but a rate of 304.68), Charleston with 2,104 total thefts, and Myrtle Beach with fifth with 1,117 thefts, a rate of 258.59.
The NICB recommends the following "layers of protection" to prevent becoming a car theft victim:
Common Sense: Lock your car and take your keys. It's simple enough, but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars.
· Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.
· Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, if your vehicle can't be started, it can't be stolen. "Kill" switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices that are extremely effective.
· Tracking Device: A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ "telematics," which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer