Hot Cars: Parts Crooks Love Best
The Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle tops the insurance industry's list for both theft-claim frequency and loss per claim, says the Highway Loss Data Institute. But thieves usually steal cars to get easily removed, expensive parts. The industry doesn't keep statistics on those, but here are some popular components that turn your car into a target:
LIGHTS. Those blue-white, high-intensity discharge headlights can really dazzle -- especially when they're coming right at you. New ones go for $500 and up per light, sometimes $3,000 per car.
AIR BAGS. You gotta have 'em, but companies say that 10% of all theft claims involve an air bag. The driver's side bag, mounted in the steering wheel, is the easiest to remove and costs $500 to $1,000 to replace.
WHEELS. Custom rims are the easiest way to give your car a flashy new look, especially the "spinners" that keep revolving when the car is stopped. They go from $100 each up to $15,000 for a set of super-luxe models.