Motoramic

Thieves pick Camaro as favorite sports car to disappear in 60 seconds

Justin Hyde
Motoramic

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The blessed rivalry between the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang has felt a bit one-sided as of late, with Ford conserving its energy for the new Mustang expected to be revealed in a matter of weeks. The Camaro has outsold the Mustang handily this year (although both are behind last year's totals) and the Camaro team has the upcoming Z/28 to crow about. Today, there's a new, less welcome title for the Camaro to claim over its pony-car competitors: Most likely to be stolen.

A new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau analyzing stolen sports cars sold between the 2010 and 2012 model years found the Camaro lapping the rest of the field. Of the 3,780 new cars swiped from January 2009 to December 2012, 1,509 were Camaros, while 980 were Mustangs and 782 Dodge Challengers. Outside of the traditional Detroit iron, most other models suffered thefts rarely; for example, thieves took only 103 new Porsche Panameras, 69 Chevy Corvettes and 10 Nissan GT-Rs in the same period. As with overall car thefts, California owners suffered the most 60-second disappearances, with Florida, Texas, Georgia and Michigan rounding out the top five.

The Camaro comes with the typical anti-theft devices and GM's OnStar vehicle tracking system; on higher-end models, OnStar can even slow down and stop a stolen car remotely, as it did when an Oregon man attempted to drive away in a 580-hp ZL1 model earlier this year. But thieves have found work-arounds; when five Camaros went missing from a South Carolina dealership in August, the swipers quickly ditched the ZL1, but disconnected the OnStar cellular equipment on four SS models — all in different colors — before getting away.

Most stolen cars are sold for parts, which might explain why newer Camaros have more appeal than similar Mustangs, whose major components have been in production longer. But the NICB also found more Camaros were never recovered, suggesting they were targeted by organized groups who could ship them overseas, where demand for Camaros runs high. Maybe Ford should make sure the upcoming global-ready Mustang comes with a little extra security.

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