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August 03, 2021

Drive a bright, non-Escalade if you don't want your car stolen

Many headlines Tuesday, even on our own homepage, discussed how the Cadillac Escalade has now become the top target for modern car thieves. X11CA_EX001

Out of every 1,000 insured Escalades, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, 10.8 are stolen each year for an average theft claim of almost $12,000. That’s enough to edge out the Ford F-250 crew cab (9.7 stolen per 1,000) and the Infiniti G37 coupe (7.1 stolen per 1,000) for tops among automobile boosters.

But while much of the focus today is put on the swank, theft-prone Cadillac SUV, what kind of cars do crooks target least, and why?

By new data out of the Netherlands, you might want to reconsider that black, blue or grey finish next time you visit your local car dealership.

According to a study by, make and model don’t necessarily matter as much to criminals now as the colour of the vehicle does.

Cars with common colour schemes – like black, navy and silver, for example – are much more attractive to thieves because of their relative resell ease and ability to fly under-the-radar.

But crooks bristle, says, when presented with a yellow or red or similarly bright vehicle because a missing car with these characteristics is much easier to spot by authorities. Along those same lines, selling a stolen car with such a unique, standout appearance is much tougher in the kind of under-the-table market that prefers anonymity.

Indeed, as car thieves appear to target colour schemes more so than specific models, it’s seeming more and more that burglars are considering the circumstances surrounding  your car than the actual car itself.

The Escalade, for instance, is appealing to crooks because of its resale value – one in four Cadillac SUV theft claims were for more than $40,000, according to the Highway Data Loss Institute – but also because of what may be inside. The thinking being, rich people drive Escalades, and typically rich people are likely to store expensive things inside their expensive cars.

“In many cases it’s tough to pinpoint exactly why a vehicle becomes a theft target,” Kim Hazelbaker, the Highway Data Loss Institute’s senior VP, said. “Investigators tell us big work trucks like the Ford F-250/350, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Dodge Ram 2500 are attractive not only because of the vehicles themselves but also because of the tools and cargo they carry.”

So beware, construction workers and handymen. No longer are the Toyota Camry and Honda Civic/Accord the hottest targets, as they were in 2008. Crooks want your trucks now, and what’s inside them.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...