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Cadillac Escalade Is the Choice of Thieves

August 21, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Cadillac Escalade is stolen at a higher rate than any other vehicle, according to a report released Wednesday by a research group funded by auto insurers.

The report, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, reviewed insurance claims for thefts or break-ins for 2000-02 model year cars.

Based on theft claims per 1,000 insured vehicles, five of the top 10 vehicles stolen or broken into are sport utility vehicles such as the Escalade. The Dodge Stratus, ranked second on the list, was the four-door car targeted at the highest rate, according to the institute.

As far as the most frequently stolen vehicles are concerned, the Toyota Camry has held that dubious distinction for six straight years, according to the Chicago-based CCC Information Systems Inc., which counts totals of stolen vehicles.

Camry didn't make it into the Insurance Institute's top 10 list because the Camry's percentage of theft claims is low in proportion to the large number of Camrys on the road.

There are fewer Escalades on the road, but they are four times more likely to be stolen or broken into than the average vehicle, the institute said.

Insurance Institute spokesman Russ Rader said the ratings are helpful for consumers, because they may end up paying more to insure a vehicle with a higher likelihood of theft.

According to the report, the Escalade averaged 10.3 claims per 1,000 insured vehicles, while the Dodge Stratus averaged 8.7 claims.

The average number of claims for all vehicles was 2.6.

In addition to the Escalade and the Stratus, the other cars on the list of the 10 targeted at the highest rate were the Mitsubishi Mirage, the Jeep Wrangler, the two-wheel-drive Lincoln Navigator, the Dodge Intrepid, the four-wheel-drive Lincoln Navigator, the Dodge Ram 1500 series pickup, the Ford Expedition and the Chrysler Sebring.

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