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If You Don't Want Your Car Stolen, Make It Pink 390

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the how-to-quit-smoking-too dept.
pickens writes "A study in the Netherlands illustrates car thieves' preferences. From 2004-2008, the most commonly colored vehicle stolen was black. This may be because black vehicles look more luxurious. Following close behind black were gray/silver automobiles. Of the 109 pink cars in the study, not one was stolen. A bright and uncommon color, like pink, may be as effective deterrent as an expensive security system. Ben Vollaard, who conducted the research, wrote, 'If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat color is not too high – or if someone actually enjoys it – then buying deterrence through an uncommon car color may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car security device.'"
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If You Don't Want Your Car Stolen, Make It Pink

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  • Hm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:23AM (#33055348)
    Of course, if everyone who didn't want their car stolen drove a pink car, then thieves would start stealing pink cars, and some other color would become the least popular.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That is terrible logic. It assumes that either a) everybody (or a least a majority) cares more about their car getting stolen than its color or b) thieves care more about the motivation of owners' choice of colors than the color itself.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851)
        Thieves do care about the motivation of the owner's choice of color more than the color itself. The reason why they don't steal pink cars is that they stick out and are quickly spotted. Were it to become the dominant color it would be stolen far more frequently than it is now. Thieves like Black and grey cars simply because they blend in to the background. It's a stupid suggestion by the summary that it has to do with the luxurious look, that's bullshit, thieves choose based upon what's easy, profitable and
    • Re:Hm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by robthebloke (1308483) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:49AM (#33055648)
      After my 3rd cycle was stolen in a year, I spray painted my new bike bright pink, put spokey-dokeys on it, and attached a large rainbow flag to the back. I've now managed to keep the same bike for over a year! (Admittedly, I now get a lot of people shouting words like 'gay' and 'bender' when i cycle past. In hindsight I should have probably thought about that before welding the flagpole on.... )
  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:24AM (#33055354)
    Nobody wants to be that guy on youtube arrested at the wheel of a pink Miata.
  • Solution to theft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quatin (1589389) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:25AM (#33055364)

    Have stuff nobody wants.

    • by xSauronx (608805) <xsauronxdamnit@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:28AM (#33055398)

      this is why the patch cables I buy are purple....haven't lost a single one yet

      • by grimJester (890090) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:48AM (#33055634)
        My red stapler always disappears. I've thought about pink, but I like my red stapler.
      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        PURPLE? I've never even seen them that color.

        I WANT ONE!!!!

        My solution has always been to just use boots that are different colors from the cable itself. Nobody wants a blue cable with yellow ends.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Culture20 (968837)
        I like having different colored cables all in the same switch/patch panel. Makes rats nests easier to deal with. Pink, purple, chartruse, aqua, brown, tan, yellow, red, blue, black, gray, green. I got lotsa colors.
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:33AM (#33055468)
      This reminds me of one of the IT guys where I work. When I was tasked with setting up a new server for my research group, he loaned me a screwdriver...and it was pink. He said he had held on to it since the early 80s, because nobody wanted a pink screwdriver.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Reilaos (1544173)

      Thanks. Now I'll never be raped.

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Yep! A few years back I was driving a beat up RX7 that I paid $900 cash for. The door locks had worn out and stopped working, so I left it unlocked all the time. Even with a CB Radio in the front seat, no one ever messed with the car for the three or four years I had it (Got my money's worth out of that thing.) I could have left the keys in the ignition the whole time and been fine.

      If you don't want your car stolen, buy a beat-up old pick-up truck. You know, the one with the cast iron bumpers. Then paint

      • My dad drove a POS 94 Ford Ranger up until a few months ago and he never locked the doors. The only time it was broken into in the whole time he owned it was when kids were going around the movie theater parking lot stealing change out of cars. I bet they made a whole lot of money doing that...

        • by Aphoxema (1088507) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:16AM (#33056018) Homepage Journal

          My dad drove a POS 94 Ford Ranger up until a few months ago and he never locked the doors. The only time it was broken into in the whole time he owned it was when kids were going around the movie theater parking lot stealing change out of cars. I bet they made a whole lot of money doing that...

          I had a cousin who never locked his doors because if someone was going to steal his shit he didn't want them breaking his windows to do it. Eventually someone got into his car to steal his stereo, but even though the doors were unlocked they had smashed the driver side window.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Also a solution to free beer or two at a pub. Well, relatively speaking.

      Seems the same effect was present, at least in the past, with pink GBA and pink NDS; new ones, too. Hey, if people want you to have a beer on them...

    • I don't know, I've seem some weird things get stolen. A friend of mine had the control panel for his AC/Heat ripped right out of the console. I mean, what are you going to do with one of those??? Most of the wire connectors were still intact so he controls it all by reaching in and making connections. Why didn't they steal the CD player? Because that was already gone -- stolen a long time ago and never replaced. They've stolen water bottles, bags of chips, anything from that car. He intentionally lea
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:27AM (#33055384)

    Perhaps the thieves prefer to drive something hard to pick out of a crowd?

    Pretty easy to find the stolen pink anything. Not as easy to find the stolen blue Civic. If you have a choice of cars (and in most cases thieves do) you'd pick something you can get away with for longer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Maybe it's just harder to steal a car which usually has it's tires slashed.

    • by bit9 (1702770)
      I suspect it also has to do with being able to strip the car down and sell the parts. My guess is that in modern car theft rings, even things like doors, fenders, and trunk lids are resold on the black market. A bunch of pink body panels showing up at a swap meet somewhere would be a lot easier to trace.
    • by denzacar (181829) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:32AM (#33056234) Journal

      From TFA:

      http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/5262 [voxeu.org]

      It's resale value, not the fear of getting caught

      Is it only resale value that drives the preference of thieves for cars in common exterior colours or does the probability of apprehension also play a role?
      The recent history of car theft gives us some idea. Red is obviously a bright colour that attracts attention - including that of the police.
      Red is also a colour that has fallen out of fashion since the turn of the century (Figure 1).
      In the beginning of the 1990s around 25% of all new cars were red, now the number is close to 5%.
      The decline of red doesn't only go for the Netherlands, but is a worldwide trend according data from DuPont.
      If thieves are primarily interested in resale value and do not care much about being spotted in a bright coloured car, then we should see higher rates of theft for red cars in the 1990s.
      That is exactly what we find. Figure 3 shows that, just with the colour silver/grey, the popularity of red in new car sales is tightly linked with the prevalence of red among stolen cars.
      This suggests that car thieves do not seem to be particularly worried about being picked out from traffic by police.

      Figure 3. Popularity of colour in new car sales vs. theft risk by colour, the Netherlands
      http://www.voxeu.org/sites/default/files/image/Vollaardfig3.png [voxeu.org]

      Source: CBS/RDW

      Conclusion

      Differences in theft rates between cars in common and uncommon colour suggest that resale value is on the mind of car thieves.
      We find evidence that it is indeed the resale value rather than the fear of getting caught that is driving this difference.
      If the aversion to driving a car in an offbeat colour is not too high - or if someone actually enjoys it - then buying deterrence through an uncommon car colour may be at least as good a deal as buying deterrence through an expensive car security device.

  • Or you could (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:28AM (#33055404)

    Drive a stick shift :)

    • by Theoboley (1226542) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `yeloboeht'> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:39AM (#33055534) Homepage
      I second this. I remember reading a story where a car was about to pull away from a gas station, and the jacker, while pointing the gun and screaming at the driver to get out, noticed the car was a Manual and exclaimed "Oh Shit" and Ran off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tekrat (242117)

      Right on.

      I remember reading about a woman who pulled into her own driveway and was then "carjacked" by two guys that had followed her. But she drove stick, and the theives had no idea how to operate the car. She's rolling around on her lawn laughing her ass off while the two guys kept stalling the car. They eventually fled the scene in the car they had arrived in.

      • Awesome. It's too bad it's getting harder and harder to find quality new cars with manual transmissions. I guess I can use it as an excuse to talk my wife into getting some classic 60s muscle car.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sznupi (719324)

      Not in the Netherlands; and most of the world for that matter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Amarantine (1100187)
      It's a study done in the Netherlands. Most people there drive a stick shift. My parents are about the only people i know driving automatic transmissions. It's considered a luxury.
    • by bytesex (112972)

      only stateside. In the rest of the world, car-thieves don't have a problem with stick shift.

  • Resale Value (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bencollier (1156337) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:28AM (#33055406) Homepage
    Of course, the crazy colour will also affect resale value, so the money you save in insurance you lose in depreciation.
    • Repaint before selling.

      I would think the bigger problem might be that you draw more attention from law enforcement. I've heard that red cars get more speeding tickets than other colors. I wonder what the statistics are for pink or yellow.

  • by Palestrina (715471) * on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:30AM (#33055430) Homepage

    For example, pink cars might garner a greater degree of derision, leading to a greater incidence of vandalism. They might be pulled over more for speeding. Their owners might be more often victims of other crimes. Mechanics might inflate prices more.

    What you want to look at is the "total cost of ownership" for the car over a period of time, as a function of color.

    • More importantly, they might depreciate more quickly and have lower residual value unless you're willing to repaint it before you sell it.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      IINM statistics say red cars get pulled over more often than any other color.

  • If you don't want viruses, run Linux!

    • Somehow, I think the differences between operating systems are a bit more significant than the differences between car colors...
  • by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:34AM (#33055494) Homepage Journal

    The "Hello Kitty Car".

  • But you'll get crappy service at the Sonic because they'll assume you're a bad tipper.

  • When I was in college, I had a halfway decent bike but vandals would remove any part not literally chained down. Lost several seats and wheels. Sometimes the vandals would find the wheels chained up and damage them instead. Othertimes they would just randomly remove screws and nuts, maybe in some half-assed attempt to steal something, but more likely just to damage the bike. Tires were regularly slashed too.

    It got to the point where damage to the bike was costing me $50 to $100 every few months.

    I then paint

  • If you're cool enough, you *CAN* have a pink car and be proud of it. Needless to say slashdot dweebs need not apply.

        http://elviscadillacs.tripod.com/ElvisPinkCad.jpg

  • But painting my car pink won't get me a discount on my auto insurance. Having a security device will. I'd never pay to add one to a car, but since I only buy used cars, I just hold out for one with a security system.
  • Back in high school, I mostly used mechanical pencils. But I kept breaking them: the metal tips snap off usually within a week of use. Maybe I press down too hard, or they just make shitty pencils where I live.

    So I imported from Japan a few very well made--but obviously expensive--mechanical pencils. They have no problem taking my abuse. However, I ended up losing all of them over the course of the semester. I sometimes lend one to a classmate, but I didn't always get it back. I don't think they kept

  • In the academic library at which I work, we use student ID cards as stored-value cards to pay for printing in our computer labs. For people who don't have or forgot their student ID, we have some "loaner" cards that they can load money onto to pay for their printing session.

    People were not returning the loaner cards after they were done using them, so I printed a new batch in bright pink. The return rate rose dramatically afterwards.

  • Pink cigarettes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pmcevoy (10501)

    I've always thought that more people would quit smoking, if cigarettes were pink...

  • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:15AM (#33056006) Homepage

    Two baby seats (twins) plus one child seat seems to have solved the car theft problem for me. These days the only lock I bother with on the car is the one that stops the little blighters from opening the doors from the inside.

    If someone stole the stereo and the collection of children's song CDs from the car, I'd consider that a blessing. Well, apart from Lazytown, which sounds similar enough to Scooter that I might miss it.

  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @10:38AM (#33056314) Journal

    When my boys were growing up, they were constantly stealing my underwear. I made them do their own laundry but they didn't get to that chore as often as they should have so they felt free, despite my protests, to dip into my underwear drawer. Nothing worked until I died my shorts pink.

    My girlfriend thought it was funny but I was just happy to be able to rely on having a clean stash of underwear.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When my boys were growing up, they were constantly stealing my underwear.

      For some reason, I assumed you were female until I read the whole post. It made that first sentence really creepy :)

  • by cowboy76Spain (815442) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:12AM (#33056718)

    With a mean probability of 0.1% of theft (at least it looks close to it in the charts, I do not have the study numbers), a sample size of 109 cars may be too small.
    To put an analogy, think that a medical researcher goes to a city of 10.000 people and finds that there are 10 cancer patients, and when he goes to the village with 100 people then claims that there is some kind of cancer cure in that village because there are no cancer patients in it.... Hardly significative at all..
  • Already knew that... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Skal Tura (595728) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @06:24PM (#33062834) Homepage

    I drove for 4-5 years a pink car. It was a type of car likely to be stolen, in an area where cars are being stolen quite frequently, in a visible, big parking area, where practically no one was watching if there's a car being stolen.

    Car was easy to steal type, many cars like that even a ice cream stick was enough of a key, on top of that the trunk couldn't be locked so you could get inside from there, and if that's not enough i frequently forgot to lock the doors. It was never stolen, or attempted even.

    Not only that, but all the girls were curious about it always ;) It drew eyes like a magnet everytime i drove it around, and girls came talking to me at times just because how the car looked, yet the car had about nothing special in it's looks other than being pink.

    Best color for a car, ever.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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