Back in 2019, a study by the Highway Loss Data Institute concluded that America’s most theft-prone car was the Dodge Charger, one variant of which was over five times likelier to be yoinked than the national average. This rear-drive sedan’s popularity with the sticky-fingered seems not to have waned, as authorities in a county neighboring Detroit have shared stats suggesting the Charger’s theft rate is still astronomical, averaging close to three stolen daily in their region.
The Saline Police Department told The Saline News it had records of over 1,000 Charger thefts within the last year across southeast Michigan. It revealed this statistic in connection to the recent theft of two 2021 Charger Scat Packs from a local dealership, whose taking has investigators baffled.
One not-unlikely explanation for how the brand-new Chargers were taken could be relay hacking, which has in recent years become a common practice among car thieves. In short, a thief can use a cheap, home-brew gadget to feed a vehicle the same signal as its key fob, allowing ne’er-do-wells access to all manner of vehicles—even high-tech Teslas aren’t safe.
What makes the Charger and its close second the Challenger so popular for thieves, especially in the greater Detroit area, isn’t hard to guess. Despite their age, both remain some of America’s bestselling enthusiast models; the Charger sold more than 70,000 units for its 11th straight year in 2020, and the Challenger regularly contends for the title of America’s bestselling coupe. Their particular abundance in the area around Motor City makes them easier still to make off with, be it to gut them for parts or just an ill-fated joyride.
Chargers and Challengers aren’t the only ones, either. Remember that pre-production Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat that was stolen from a company employee’s driveway in, you guessed it, Detroit? It’s called Muscle City for a reason, apparently.
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h/t Automotive News