You know the saying: “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” This rang true for what seemed to be every criminal along the West Coast in 2012. As thieves learned they could make around $2500 by stealing 3rd row seats from GM vehicles, there was an extreme outbreak in car burglaries.
The beach town of Redondo Beach alone experienced four 3rd row seat thefts in just one week.
When the media began reporting on the crimes in fourth quarter of 2012, the number of thefts skyrocketed nationwide.
General Motors, the manufacturer of an extensive line of SUVs, only makes as many 3rd row seats as the total number of vehicles they’re producing.
Therefore, when a 3rd row seat is stolen, the only option for replacement is from a re-seller (who is most likely selling stolen merchandise.) As the number of thefts rise, the supply is depleted and the demand is increased, making it the perfect storm for criminals looking to make a quick buck (or should we say a couple thousand bucks!)
Consumers have paid around $600 for 3rd row seats if the dealer added them as an option at the time of purchase. For those who opted out of this add-on, then decide later that they���d like to have a 3rd row, are finding it difficult to find the seats; and if they do, can pay as much as $2500 for them through online classified sites like craigslist.com. and up to $4,000 at the dealership because they have to build the seats from scratch.
Combine the number of owners who, years after their GM purchase, decide they’d like to have a 3rd row, and the number of people in the market who’re searching to replace their stolen seats, and it’s easy to understand why the risk / reward ratio is worth the payout for criminals.
Lock Out Criminals and Protect Your Vehicle
Until Xtralock™ there has been no viable solution to deter thieves. Some attempts to keep criminals at bay include engraving the VIN number onto the seat. This can be useful option to get your seats back…IF they’re ever recovered.
A high decibel alarm has been sold in retail stores as a solution. This will draw attention to the break-in, but the thieves have perfected their larceny methods and are able to break-in and remove the seats in as little as six seconds.
In this case, the thieves are gone before a call is placed to 911.
There have been a couple of “locking” mechanisms developed, but unfortunately, they’re easily removed with wire-cutters or a wrench. Thieves figured this out quickly and now come equipped with the tools they’ll need.