• Vehicle Thieves’ Top Choice Is The Cadillac Escalade

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    Keep an eye on your Escalade.

    For car thieves, the Cadillac luxury SUV is the most popular target among 2007-09 model cars and trucks. And it’s the most expensive for insurance companies to cover, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, which today released its list of thieves’ most and least popular vehicles.

    At the bottom: Toyota’s Prius.

    “Sedate, family cars and fuel-sippers aren’t on the hot list,” said Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute in Arlington, Va.

    “Thieves are after chrome, horsepower and Hemis.”

    According to the institute, the most frequently stolen rides, after the Escalade, are the Ford F-250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37 and Dodge Charger with a Hemi engine.

    General Motors Co. spokesman Nick Twork acknowledged that Cadillac’s Escalade is a “very desirable vehicle, for its owners, and unfortunately, thieves,” and said the automaker is trying to deter bad guys.

    Laminated side-glass will come on the 2011 model, and the Escalade already comes with an engine immobilizer and steering column lock.

    The Escalade also is available with OnStar “stolen vehicle slowdown technology.”

    Hazelbaker noted that “even though Escalades have the latest immobilizer technology, thieves still can put them on flatbeds and haul them away.”

    Owners of 2007-09 Escalades file 10.8 stolen vehicle claims per 1,000 vehicles, compared with 0.8 claims per 1,000 vehicles for the Prius.

    The average Escalade theft loss is $11,934, compared with $2,203 for the Prius.

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