The State of Car Theft Today: Understanding the Menace and Emerging Anti-Theft Solutions

Colton Allen Blog

The Prevalence of Car Theft Across the Globe 

Car theft, a constant menace plaguing car owners worldwide, continues to pose significant challenges to individuals and law enforcement agencies alike. In the United States, the FBI’s 2022 Crime Report showed an increase in motor vehicle theft, reflecting a worrying trend.  

According to the report, the number of carjackings — defined as theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle by force or threat — increased from 3,000 in 2020 to 3,713 in 2022 across seven cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, Norfolk, and San Francisco. 

In addition, the National Insurance Crime Bureau in the U.S. has consistently ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the city with the highest per capita rate of car thefts, although regions like California and Nevada have also reported high rates.  

And not just a US problem, theft is a growing issue worldwide. For example, the United Kingdom saw a surge in vehicle-related theft in recent years, with Metropolitan Police Service reporting the highest numbers. Countries like Germany, Italy, and France in Europe have also faced growing concerns over car theft. Meanwhile, regions like South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico have long-standing issues with car theft, often interlinked with organized crime. 

A Peek into the Thieves’ Playbook 

Ironically, automotive technological advancements have been a boon to society and provided novel tools for car thieves. The traditional “hot-wiring” has given way to more sophisticated electronic methods, with thieves often exploiting the vulnerabilities in modern keyless entry systems. 

According to, “Relay attacks” have emerged as a favored technique where criminals use signal boosters to trick a keyless car into thinking its key is nearby.  

A relay attack usually involves two people working together. One stands by the targeted vehicle, while the other stands near the house with a device that can pick up a signal from the key fob. Moreover, some devices can pick up a signal from over 100 yards away.  

This type of vulnerability isn’t only an issue for 2023 models. A recent report in TechCrunch shows a vulnerability in Honda’s keyless entry system affects its vehicles as far back as 2012 and as current as the 2022 model year. 

OBD port hacking is another worrisome trend where thieves connect devices to the On-board Diagnostic (OBD) port to program a new key for the vehicle. 

And, if you’ve followed Kia and Hyundai’s recent issues regarding the Kia TikTok Challenge, it’s clear that something as simple as a USB cable can be used to steal a vehicle. 

Is there a way to prevent vehicle theft or at least slow it down? Companies, auto manufacturers, and dealers are working on it, including Elo GPS. Let’s see what’s available. 

Market Overview: Anti-Theft Technology Solutions 

In response to the growing problem of car theft, the market for anti-theft technology solutions has been expanding and innovating at an impressive pace. Consumers have several options, from traditional devices like steering wheel locks to advanced solutions like GPS trackers and immobilizers. 

Various companies offer advanced car alarms with features like shock sensors and two-way communication. One complex solution offers microdot identification, a technology that tags vehicles with thousands of tiny, etched discs. And some people are finding that Apple AirTags serve a limited purpose. 

Another rapidly growing segment in this market is GPS tracking systems. GPS trackers provide real-time tracking of a vehicle’s location, making it easier for the police to recover a stolen vehicle. 

Spotlight: Elo GPS – Your Trustworthy Anti-Theft Solution 

Combining the power of GPS locating with the convenience of smartphone integration, Elo GPS is a complete stolen vehicle monitoring and recovery system that offers comprehensive protection for your vehicle. 

With Elo GPS, users can monitor their vehicle’s location in real-time and even set geofencing boundaries, alerting them if their car crosses the predefined area. This robust system even comes equipped with a backup battery to keep your tracking system active even if the vehicle’s power is cut – a common tactic thieves’ use. 

Elo GPS aims to provide peace of mind for car owners, reducing the stress related to car theft. With professional installation and 24/7 customer service, Elo GPS ensures top-notch service for all its customers. 

There’s Hope 

While the threat of car theft persists, advancements in anti-theft technology like Elo GPS offer promising solutions to mitigate the problem. As car owners, being aware of the potential risks and taking proactive steps toward securing our vehicles is the best line of defense. So, ask your dealership about how to invest in an Elo GPS anti-theft solution in your next car and secure your vehicle against theft.