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Worst US states for getting back stolen cars

Althea Chang
Big Data Download
Worst US states for getting back stolen cars

Car theft increases by 15 percent every summer, but some states are worse than others when it comes to your chances of having your automobile stolen, according to recent insurance data.

Drivers who've had their cars stolen in Michigan were least likely to get them back, according to Progressive Insurance claims data. Just 19 percent of people who had their cars stolen in the home of the motor city got their cars back last year, the company said.

Of cars stolen in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, less than 30 percent were returned. Meanwhile more than 60 percent of cars stolen in Utah, South Dakota, Nevada and California were returned to their owners, the company reports. But drivers in Washington state are most likely to get their car back, according to Progressive. About 71 percent of cars stolen there were returned to their rightful owners.

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Trucks are among the most stolen vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is funded by Progressive, other insurers including Geico, State Farm and Allstate, as well as insurance associations.

The most-stolen vehicle is the four-wheel-drive Ford F-250 crew cab, which has been stolen at a rate of seven times the average for all other vehicles, according to the institute. The second- and third-most stolen vehicles are the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew and the Chevrolet Avalanche 1500.

Meanwhile SUVs and luxury cars are among the least stolen cars, according to IIHS. The mid-sized Dodge Journey four-wheel drive SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan four-wheel drive SUV and the four-door Audi A4 for example, are among the cars least likely to be stolen, according to the institute's rankings.

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On average across the United States, 46 percent of stolen cars are recovered, according to Progressive.

“Prevention is the best medicine," said Todd Golling, car theft expert at Progressive. "If you put LoJack in your car, you activate your OnStar, use your Tele Aid, practices like that would help recover your car," Golling told "Big Data Download." And while it may seem obvious, drivers should never leave their unlocked cars unattended, Golling said.

And leaving belongings visible in your car at hotel, mall and even church parking lots could put drivers at higher risk of break-ins, Golling said.

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