At least the thieves have good taste.
The Dodge Charger muscle sedan, specifically the Hemi-powered variants as well as its Challenger coupe sibling, have been two of the most-stolen vehicles in the US for a couple of years. Data compiled back in 2019 by the Highway Loss Data Institute confirmed this very unfortunate situation. And it turns out 2020 was an equally bad year - especially for Charger owners living in Southeast Michigan.
According to The Saline Post, the local police department confirmed it had received reports of more than 1,000 Chargers stolen in the past year. This information came to light following an inquiry into yet another theft, this time from a local Dodge dealership where not one but two 2021 Charger Scat Packs were recently stolen.
Police say they're unsure how the thieves managed to start the vehicles, but chances are they used the relay hacking method that's become increasingly popular. Instead of somehow getting ahold of a specific car's key fob, thieves instead use a basic $200 device that increases the strength of the radio signal vehicles normally respond to with the standard fob.
The Charger isn't the only vehicle susceptible to key fob hacks and thefts; the Tesla Model S and Model X, previous-generation BMW 3 and 4 Series, and the GMC Sierra 1500 have been stolen in large numbers, too. Some automakers have taken measures against relay hacking but, evidently, Dodge isn't doing enough.
It's very easy to understand why the Charger is such a popular target around the Motor City and probably elsewhere. Last year, over 70,000 examples were sold in America, making it one of the best-selling sport sedans despite its age. Where else can one buy a V8-powered rear-wheel-drive muscle sedan for less than $50,000? The fact it looks pretty darn great inside and out also helps.
So let this be a warning for Charger owners not only in the Detroit-area suburbs but everywhere else. Your Charger is very much desired by thieves and it wouldn't be a half-bad idea to invest in an aftermarket security system.