The Mercedes-Benz, a long recognized symbol of luxury and performance, is a favorite among car thieves with taste, according to the latest report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) that looks at vehicle theft activity within the luxury vehicle class of automobiles.
Three Mercedes-Benz models—the C Class, E Class and S Class—landed in the top 10. Overall, 4,384 luxury class vehicles were stolen during the period covered by this report.
Within the three sub-classes, compact luxury models had the highest number of thefts at 2,150. They were followed by mid-sized luxury models with 1,734 thefts. Premium luxury thefts totaled 500 units. The vehicles described in this report are identified as luxury cars by Automotive News’ market segmentation classifications for 2012.
The geographic distribution of luxury vehicle thefts ranged from California with the most (1,063) to South Dakota and Wyoming posting one theft each. The top 10 states alone accounted for 3,547 luxury vehicle thefts—81 percent of the total. However, when looking at the top 10 core-based statistical areas (CBSA), the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area captured the top spot with 806 thefts. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., CBSA came in second with 491 thefts. In third place was the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., CBSA with 452 thefts.
Of the 4,384 luxury vehicles stolen, 713 remain unrecovered at the time of this report. That translates to a recovery rate of 83.7 percent. The Infiniti G Series had the highest number of unrecovered thefts at 83, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E Class with 80, and the Mercedes-Benz C Class with 78.
The report is based only on thefts entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. Many times luxury vehicles are leased or purchased on a payment plan and then the vehicles are quickly exported out of the country. These are thefts by fraud or financial schemes and are not always entered into NCIC as standard vehicle thefts.