Australian insured AAMI (owner of Just Car Insurance) said that they have noticed a spike in internal parts being stolen as technological gadgets get more & more expensive. eBay seems to be the place to be selling these systems. Property Crime Squad commander, acting Detective Superintendent Tim Stirling, said while motor vehicle theft was declining nationally, stealing from motor vehicles had risen across NSW this year.
"One reason for this is the rise in the number of high value and portable electronic equipment in cars, such as GPS," he said. "This is indicative of opportunistic thieves, rather than organised crime gangs."
The picture you see here is a brand new 2006 Mitsubishi Pajero 4WD. As you can see the theives didn't leave much behind. Apparently the thieves stole so much from the car, that the insurance wrote of the $60,000 car! Can you imagine that? a brand new car with no body damage what so ever being written off?
According to the owner a hand-held electric saw was used to cut out the dash panel before everything was stolen from the vehicle. NRMA Insurance head of industry research Robert McDonald said GPS units and airbags now topped the list of targets since stereos had become harder to fit between different car models.
Who would think that someone would break into your car to steal your airbag? However gievn they cost anywhere between 1500 to 8000 to replace, you can see where there is a market! Police in Sydney's inner west have put out a warning for car owners as more and more airbags are stolen from vehicles, As nine Toyota Corolla sedan owners found out recently.
AAMI spokesman Selina O'Connor said interiors, including seats and trimmings, are being used more and more in "rebirthing" cars. The idea of stealing a vehicle, and changing it enough so that it can't be identified from any of its original parts.
"In the case of the dashboard it may have been stolen to replace a dashboard on a damaged car or for the wiring and instrumentation which sits inside the dash, which is also valuable," she said.
So what can you do? Park your car somewhere safe, its hard sometimes, and it seems like the car alarms are now detering theives from stealing the car itself, but instead giving rise to a new kind of thieves, not worried about your wallet, but more keen on your GPS or airbags!