Every 30 seconds, another vehicle is stolen in the United States.
It isn't that bad locally, but Tucson does rank 22nd in the nation in auto theft, just above Los Angeles (23) and much higher than Phoenix (56).
"I think it's high, mostly because of the drugs and the fact that we're so close to the border," said Hortenica Tellez, who is all too familiar with auto theft.
It's been a few years since her mini van was ripped off near Vail and Interstate 10.
Her vehicle was stolen close to the freeway, just like the top three locations for auto theft in Tucson:
"Bottom line is, thieves want to steal things that are easy to steal," says AAA.
That's why a layered approach to protecting your vehicle is so important.
Jerry Hernandez has worked as an automotive security specialist for 26 years.
He's seen a lot of bells and whistles in his career when it comes to protecting cars. But today, Hernandez says the best in auto security is literally at your fingertips.
"That's the latest and greatest right now, the phone application for your iPhone, for your Droid, for your Blackberry."
Through your cell phone, GPS-enabled security tells you what's happening to your car at all times.
"To let you know if the vehicle has been tampered, let you know if the vehicle has been taken," Hernandez says.
But that's only one layer of protection.
There are also manufacturer alarms, impact sensors and vehicle identification etchings.
Hernandez's truck has all of these, and a steering-wheel lock to boot.
"I'm a firm believer that every layer of security you can add on to it just makes it more difficult for the thief," he says.
By the same token, if somebody wants your vehicle badly enough, no car is 100 percent theft-proof.
There are professional thieves who can bypass or disable just about anything.
But for the most part auto theft remains a crime of opportunity.
Here in Tucson, the following the vehicles were the most stolen in 2010:
Just because your vehicle didn't make this list, don't assume it won't be stolen, police say.
"One common thing we hear from victims is they didn't expect their vehicle was gonna be stolen because it didn't have a lot of value, they thought," said Steve Simmers, a detective with Tucson Police Department's Auto Theft unit.
"But every vehicle has value; it's able to transport someone from one point to another, so every vehicle is a potential target."
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The following is a list of anti-theft devices recommended by a national campaign known as HEAT: Help Eliminate Auto Theft. 1-800-947-HEAT
|PEDAL JACK||The PEDAL JACK locks and blocks both the break and the clutch pedals which, unlike steering wheels or shift levers, cannot be cut because vehicle standards require them both to be unbreakable. PEDAL JACK immobilizes both the clutch and break , making it impossible to drive the vehicle.
|The Billy Bat||This product is a car theft prevention steering wheel lock The Billy Bat can be easily locked and unlocked with a set of keys. There are over 100,000 different combinations and the keys cannot be duplicated or replaced. This device is placed on the steering wheel in order to create high visibility to any potential perpetrators. This item costs approximately $30.00 and can be found at Pep Boys. For a picture of The Billy Bat, see web address http://www.billybat.com.|
|The Original Club®||This product is the first of a series of steering wheel locks, rated #1 selling mechanical steering wheel lock in the world. This device is highly visible to potential perpetrators and is made out of a cro-moly steel to resist sawing, prying, hammering, and freon attacks. The Club is covered in a vinyl covering in order to protect your vehicle's interior. The Original Club® sells for approximately $40.00. You can buy this product at Big Kmart, Pep Boys, and Autobarn.com.For picture of the club see http://www.theclub.com.|
|The Club LX®||Similar to the Original Club®, this device is a steering wheel lock. This club is equipped with a self locking mechanism, allowing the vehicle owner to lock the club on the steering wheel without the use of a key. this product comes with a light charged, glow in the dark band, through any attacks. This product costs approximately $60.00 and can be found at Advanced Auto Parts, Big Kmart, Pep Boys and Autobarn.com. For a picture of this device see http://www.theclub.com.|
|The Sports Utility Club®||This device is specifically designed for sports utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, and pick-up trucks. It is equipped with the same features as The Club LX® including; the light charged glow in the dark band for increased visibility. This club costs approximately $55.00 and can be found at Big Kmart, Pep Boys, and Autobarn.com For a picture see web address http://www.theclub.com.|
|The Truck Club®||This product is the same as The Original Club® except it is made specifically for trucks. This item sells for approximately $50.00 and can be found at Wal-Mart. For a picture see http://www.theclub.com.|
|The Club Quad Lock System®||This device is a steering wheel lock that locks over the whole steering wheel in four different places, where as The Original Club® hooks in two places. This lock can be found at Pep Boys and costs approximately $55.00.
|Click-It-Club||This is another brand of a steering wheel lock. Also made out of cro-moly steel, it is highly resistant to attacks. It comes in red and purple and has max airbag protection. This item can be found at Pep Boys and costs approximately $50.00.|
|Padlocks||Padlocks may be used for many different things including trunks in the back of a vehicle to bicycles when used with a cable. There are many different varieties of padlocks including; black titanium, stainless steel, brass, weather resistant, and steel laminated. Padlocks range in price from $3.00 to $10.00 and can be found at Pep Boys.|
|Steering Wheel Lock||This product if very similar to The Original Club®. It locks on the steering wheel by hooks. This product can be found at Advanced Auto Parts for approximately $14.00.|
|Master Steering Wheel Lock||This Master Lock® device is designed similar to The Original Club®. It has dual locking levers where you only have to push a button to lock it. It is made out of hardened steel to resist cutting, drilling, smashing, and freon attacks. One size fits cars, SUVs, trucks, minivans, and other recreational vehicles. Lifetime mechanical warranty. You can find this device at Advanced Auto Parts for approximately $30.00.|
|The Club Spare Tire Lock®||This product secures the spare tire under the cargo bed or on the tailgate. The padlock is weatherproof to protect it from water, oil, dust, gas, and inclement weather. It can also be used on bicycles, skis, and other items. The length of the cable is 4 feet (1.2 m) and the diameter is _ inches (6.5 mm). You can find this item at Advanced Auto Parts for approximately $15.00. For a picture see web address http://www.theclub.com.|
|The Club Security Cable®||This item may be used for many different things. It is 10 ft (3m) long and 3/8 inches (10mm) in diameter. It may be used with padlocks (recommended: The Club® Automotive Padlock). This item may be found at Advanced Auto Parts and Pep Boys for approximately $25.00. For a picture see http://www.theclub.com.|
|Handy Horn||Made by WOLO®, this horn may be sounded in case of emergencies. It is made out of a durable red plastic and runs on environmentally safe gas. It is an extra loud, hand held horn that can be found at Advanced Auto Parts and Autobarn.com for approximately $18.00. For picture see http://www.autobarn.net/wolohandyhorn.html.|
|Warning Module||This device comes with two warning stickers that say "Warning Auto Alarm Electronic Protection." There is also a wireless flashing LED warning module that is comes equipped with a self adhesive. There is no installation necessary. This product may be found at Big Kmart for approximately $3.00.|
|UnBRAKEable Auto Lock||This product locks the dutch or brake pedal, making it impossible to move a vehicle. It is made out of a solid steel with a red protective coating to prevent damage. This item is highly visible to potential perpetrators. Some insurance companies give discounts if you use this device. It also comes with an Autolock steering wheel cover and a sticker to put in your window to further warn intruders. It is also equipped with a self locking mechanism, making it easy to put on. This device can be found at Autobarn.com for approximately $50.00. For picture see http://store.yahoo.com/rodi/law1440.html.|
|UnBRAKEable Auto Lock Pro||Similar to the Auto Lock, this solid steel deadbolt is virtually drill proof, cut proof, and freon proof. It locks up your dutch or brake pedal, making your vehicle undrivable. This product also comes with two window decals, a steering wheel cover, and high security barrel keys. You can find this product at Pep Boys and Autobarn.com for approximately $65.00.For picture see http://store.yahoo.com/rodi/autolockpro.html.|
|500 Econo/Club SE||Similar to The Original Club®, this device hooks on to the steering wheel by two hooks. It is a little thinner than The Original Club®. It can be found at Pep Boys and Autobarn.com for approximately $25.00.
|Column Pro Gard Auto Security Device||This device is a steering wheel lock that is Highly visible to intruders. This lock is made specifically for General Motors (GM) vehicles. You can find this device at Pep Boys for approximately $50.00.|
|Visual Alarm||Consist of your headlights, tail lights, and turn signals blinking. Prices vary according to installment. You can find them at Big Kmart and Autobarn.com. Some car dealerships provide this device.|
|Audio Alarms||Audio alarms range from your horn sounding to different sirens going off. You have many options from which to choose from. An audio alarm can sound when a door is open, a window is broken, or even a jolt to the car. Prices usually vary according to installment. Big Kmart carries the Bulldog Security System that is a talking alarm and consists of 7 talking messages. It only takes 10 minutes to install and you can do it yourself. It an also lower your insurance. This model costs approximately $50.00.|
|Door Lock Guard (Black or Chrome)||This device covers the lock cylinder of a car, preventing forced entry by removing a lock from a vehicle. It is made out of steel and available in black or chrome finish. You can find this device at Autobarn.com for approximately $3.00. For picture see web address http://store.yahoo.com/rodi/woldlp.html.|
|Door Lock Guard (Brass)||This device is the same as above except it has a brass finish.You can find this product at Autobarn.com for approximately $4.00. For a picture see http://store.yahoo.com/rodi/woldlp.html.|
|While some anti-theft products can only be used by police after a vehicle is reported stolen, MobileGuardian™ can be used anytime and for any reason. Vehicles stolen from metro areas are often discovered far beyond the city limits, leaving other anti-theft solutions useless. MobileGuardian is the only vehicle recovery and location product that utilizes a wireless network with coast-to-coast coverage. Once users have received the alarm notification message, they can then send a signal to the vehicle to prevent it from being restarted once thieves have turned the ignition off. This dual-faceted feature can also be used in non-emergency situations. For example, if you are away from home for an extended period, you can disable the vehicle and PREVENT it from being stolen.
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