10 Most Commonly Stolen Items From Vehicles

20 Dec 2021

With the holiday season ahead, vehicles will become an increasingly attractive target for opportunist thieves.


Even if a criminal is not interested in the vehicle itself, there are several valuable items within the car that they are likely to be drawn to.

Items generally taken from vehicles will be the ones that are small, easy to conceal, and can be quickly sold on for profit.

LotGuard, the USA's leading provider of parking lot surveillance cameras, lists the top 10 items most likely to be stolen from vehicles, and some helpful advice on avoiding having your property stolen. 

The Top 10 Items Stolen From Vehicles


According to recent reports, the term most commonly stolen items from cars are:

GPS Devices – many modern cars will have built-in GPS navigation systems, but the portable, dash-mounted units are an easy target for opportunist thieves.

Expensive Car Radios and Speakers - car radios aren't the hot commodity they were 20 years ago. Modern systems are complicated to remove and have little-to-no resale value. However, customized and expensive speaker systems are still a target for thieves.

Electronic devices - devices such as cell phones, iPads, laptops left in plain sight will be an immediate attraction to thieves. At least 14% of all cell phones theft is from a vehicle

Car Registration – theft of vehicle registrations, car documentation, and even car manuals are surprisingly common items stolen from cars. These thefts are often linked to identity theft - your car's information could be stolen, such as the VIN, or worse, they could sell a similar vehicle using your car's documentation.

Third Row Seats – many models of trucks and SUVs have third-row seats that are easy to remove and resell for parts

Rims and Tires – it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but Geico estimates the value of the stolen tire marketing at roughly $1m per year. Both are easy to steal and even easier to resell, without any fear of the items being tracked

License Plates/Tags - criminals are interested in your license plates and tags to use on their own vehicles. According to recent news reports, it helps them avoid detection if they are driving without insurance, a valid license or even worse, they're driving a stolen vehicle

Truck Tailgate – some trucks' tailgates are easy to remove and can be easily resold or reused by an opportunist thief 

Catalytic Converters – Catalytic converters are currently in exceptionally high demand with thieves, as prices of core metals such as platinum, palladium, rhodium, and gold continue to soar. NBC recently reported that instances of catalytic convertor theft have risen to 2,347 a month, with thieves able to resell the converters to metal recyclers for up to $500, and it only takes a minute or two to remove the unit.

Learn How to Protect Your Parking Lots With LotGuard

How to Prevent Theft From Vehicles

Theft from vehicles is an opportunistic crime, with most incidents occurring because the car has been left unlocked or because valuable items have been left in plain sight. 

  • Below are some simple steps on how to prevent your car from being targeted:
  • Lock your vehicle
  • Close all windows
  • Remove any valuable items or don't leave them in plain sight
  • Put any expensive shopping items in the boot if you plan to leave your car unattended 
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Install an alarm system
  • Remain vigilant at all times

LotGuard: Parking Lot Surveillance System

If you own a commercial parking lot or property and are concerned about protecting the vehicles in your lots, then speak to LotGuard today.

LotGuard surveillance units provide complete parking lot and dealership security. They detect, deter, mitigate, and report criminal activity 24/7/365.

We can provide LotGuards regardless of your site's power or internet availability, and they are autonomous surveillance units.

Ready to learn more about how LotGuard can protect your parking lots? Call our team today on 877 805-9475 or email sales@wcctv.com.

Charles Babbage House
Kingsway Business Park
OL16 4NW
Rochdale, Lancashire
United Kingdom

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