Auto Theft Knows No Bounds, It Seems

What did the thief think upon finding the president's lectern and teleprompter in the stolen van?

What did the thief think upon finding the president’s lectern and teleprompter in the stolen van? (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

We’ve discussed how auto theft has been on the decline for seven straight years in the United States, with a preliminary estimate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showing a drop of 7.2 percent in 2010. That puts the current year on pace to match 1967 levels.

Despite the decline of this major crime, the biggest change in car thefts auto over the last few years is that the mix of automobile types being stolen has dramatically shifted. Thieves used to prefer cars and SUVs, and they still do, but they’re stealing less of them. Meanwhile, pickup truck and van theft has increased substantially.

Not only are more vans being stolen, but apparently, who you are can’t stop a determined thief. Even if you’re Barack Obama, the President of the United States. NBC12 of Richmond, Virginia broke the story earlier that a box truck containing the president’s teleprompter and podium had been stolen.

While it seems natural that no sensitive info would be contained in a van carrying Obama’s speaking gear, the Defense Information Systems Agency was quick to quell any concern that national secrets were compromised.

A spokeswoman for the agency said “a government vehicle was stolen and has been recovered. No classified or sensitive information was in the vehicle. We take incidents such as this very seriously, and a formal investigation is continuing in coordination with relevant law enforcement agencies.”

We can’t say for certain, but we’d guess it’d be quite discomforting to a thief, no matter how brazen or intelligence-compromised they may be, to find out that you’d taken the president’s podium.

About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at

Facebook Comments