"Police say several things have come together to make this a lucrative crime - so lucrative, in fact, that victims often say GPS thieves ignored other valuable items in their cars.
The units - which gather real-time location information from global-positioning satellites and display that on digital maps - have come down in price enough to become relatively popular in higher-rent districts. One leading maker alone, Garmin Ltd., will sell a few million this year.
Yet the devices are still not ubiquitous - Garmin also estimates that only 10 to 12 percent of North American drivers have portable or built-in GPS in their cars. That leaves a huge market of people to be enticed by cheaper-than-retail GPS units on sale in pawn shops or online, where thieves love to fence their finds."
And if you think you're smarter than thieves, think again. People who remove the devices from the windshield and hide them inside the car return to find them stolen anyway. Thieves look for the tell-tale ring from GPS suction cups on the windshield and break in to look for it.