RecovR's Vehicle Theft State of the Union Report

2023 Vehicle Theft Trends and Forecast For 2024: What Dealers Can Do to Protect Themselves and Consumers

First published on
December 14, 2023
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As we approach 2024, the landscape of vehicle theft continues to evolve, presenting both challenges and opportunities for stakeholders in the automotive industry, particularly for dealerships. In this comprehensive overview, we explore the current trends in vehicle theft, their implications, and the importance of leveraging vehicle recovery products in response.

Current Trends in Vehicle Theft

Rise in Vehicle Thefts

Recent statistics have shown a worrying increase in vehicle thefts. In the first half of 2023 alone, there was a 33.5% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This surge is not limited to specific regions but is a widespread issue affecting various cities and states across the country.

Targeted Vehicle Brands

Certain vehicle brands are more susceptible to theft, largely due to their popularity and certain vulnerabilities. Brands like Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan, and luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus have been frequently targeted. Notably, Kia and Hyundai have seen a recent increase in thefts due to specific security shortcomings in some models.

Changing Theft Methods

Thieves are continually adapting their strategies and methods. The use of technology, such as keyless entry hacking and exploiting on-board diagnostics (OBD) ports, has become more prevalent. Despite technological advancements, traditional methods like breaking windows remain in use, especially for older models.

Factors Influencing the Increase in Theft

Technological Advancements

While technology has made vehicles more secure in some aspects, it has also opened new avenues for tech-savvy thieves. Devices like relay boxes allow thieves to bypass electronic security systems easily.

Economic and Social Influences

Economic hardships, exacerbated by the pandemic, have led to an increase in vehicle thefts. The rise of social media has also played a role, with platforms facilitating the sharing of vehicle theft methods.

Supply Chain Issues

Disruptions in the global supply chain have created a lucrative black market for auto parts, incentivizing the theft of specific vehicle models.

The Changing Nature of Theft

The nature of vehicle theft is shifting from opportunistic crimes, like joyriding, to more organized, professional operations. Organized crime groups are increasingly targeting high-value vehicles or specific parts. The focus has also shifted towards newer models with sophisticated technology, indicating a need for advanced security measures.

Vehicle Recovery: A Key Countermeasure

The Role of Dealerships

Dealerships are uniquely positioned to combat this trend. By integrating vehicle recovery products into their sales strategy, dealers can offer customers not just a vehicle but a comprehensive security solution.

Educating Customers

Dealers should take the initiative to educate customers about the risks of vehicle theft and the benefits of recovery systems. Highlighting how these systems can reduce insurance premiums and increase the chances of vehicle recovery post-theft can be a compelling part of the sales conversation.

Demonstrating Technology

Utilizing real-life demonstrations and testimonials can help customers understand the effectiveness of these systems. Showcasing the technology’s capabilities, such as real-time tracking and mobile app integration, can enhance customer appreciation and perceived value.

Recovery Rates and Future Expectations

Despite advancements in vehicle recovery technology, the overall recovery rates of stolen vehicles have been declining. This decline can be attributed to the increased efficiency of professional thieves and the rapid dismantling of stolen vehicles. However, vehicles equipped with advanced recovery systems, like GPS tracking, tend to have higher recovery rates. RecovR has been successful in recovering 94% of stolen vehicles, well above the national average, giving both dealers and consumers a powerful tool for getting their cars back fast.

Looking towards 2024, the expectation is that vehicle theft may either continue to rise or stabilize, depending on various factors such as economic conditions, advancements in vehicle security, and law enforcement strategies. The continued role of technology, both as a tool for thieves and a means of prevention, will be significant. Awareness and proactive measures by vehicle owners, including the use of recovery products, could potentially mitigate these theft rates.


The state of vehicle theft is an ever-evolving challenge, requiring a dynamic and informed approach. Dealerships play a crucial role in this landscape, not only as purveyors of vehicles but as providers of security solutions. By leveraging vehicle recovery products in their sales strategy, dealers can offer added value to their customers, helping to protect their investments and providing peace of mind in an uncertain environment. As we move forward, it is vital for all stakeholders to remain vigilant and adapt to the changing dynamics of vehicle theft, ensuring that we stay one step ahead of the curve.