Over 11K cars stolen in NZ - How does LA compare & how to keep your vehicle safe


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Vehicle theft is a growing concern worldwide, with increasing rates observed in various regions, including Los Angeles and New Zealand. The surge in car theft incidents can be attributed to several factors, including the evolving techniques thieves employ, revenge mindsets, or the cost of living crisis. 

Another reason is social media. Numerous challenges, such as Kia Challenge, appeared in the last years on different platforms showing people how to commit crimes easier in the hope of no repercussions. 
Moreover, specific car models tend to be more attractive targets due to their popularity, resale value, or ease of theft, but these differ depending on the country. Does the day of the week matter to theft? Let’s find out together! 

LA Vs. NZ - Where Is Your Vehicle Safer?

Looking over the rundown from NZ’s casino alpha, we saw that Mazdas, especially the Demio model, is the most stolen car across New Zealand. Approximately 1 car out of 10 stolen is Mazda’s Demio.

Although they are the number one favorites to be stolen, they are also the ones recovered the most, with a rate of around 94%.  

In June 2022, the total number of stolen cards was more significant than the number of newly registered ones. The odds of someone carjacking your vehicle are between 0.2% in Auckland and 0.003 in Dunedin City. 

The trend of vehicles being stolen is an uprising in New Zealand. In 2019, 2020, and 2021 under 6000 Kiwis got their cars taken away each year. In 2022, the number has risen to 8,492, according to AMI Insurance NZ. 

Los Angeles City Carjacking Situation

In LA, things are more complicated. With over 42 million visitors annually, the city has an abrupt and eye-opening crime scene. Statistics from LAPD Crime Database show that between 2018 and 2021, 17,500 - 24,800 automobiles were hijacked. 

The data also attributes around 24% of the crimes committed on LA’s territory to car theft. An experienced thief will steal a car or its valuables in less than 1 minute in Los Angeles. Around 80% of them are found and retrieved from the actual owners, but not all are in the same condition. 

The most targeted cars are older models of Hondas and Kias, and the prejudices by these acts surpass $15,000. Most cars stolen in 2022 in LA city were in Downtown, Boyle Heights, and Westlake. 

The situation over the whole county is more serious, but it cannot be measured accurately due to the lack of official numbers provided by the authorities in smaller cities. Thus, the situation is clear: your car is more unsafe in Downtown LA than in Auckland, NZ. 

Some unofficial data discuss that weekends are more appealing for carjackers and more cars are stolen on Sundays in LA and NZ. 

How To Keep Thieves Away From Your Car

Always lock your car and ensure all windows are closed before leaving it unattended, even if you just step away for a second. Pick well-lit parking areas with surveillance cameras, and also consider protecting your car with alarms, steering wheel locks, or inside cameras. Installing a GPS or having an Air Tag inside your vehicle is also a good idea. 

Don’t leave valuables or car keys in plain sight. Thieves take more interest in pricy items that are easier to access than stealing your car. 

Leaving your automobile in a garage or valet parking is also good, but be aware of scamming valet services or shady garages. It is better to pay the parking a solid $50 on secure parking areas for your night out than lose it forever. 

Visit both places cautiously and after researching the best practice for that area. 

Remember, no security measure can guarantee 100% protection against vehicle theft, but following these tips can significantly reduce the risk of being stolen. 


This content was provided by our sponsor, ISMART Media. The FOX editorial team was not involved in the creation of this content.