Test for wannabe data scientists: do thieves prefer stealing American Cars in Indiana?

English: A Chevrolet S-10 pick-up truck travel...
English: A Chevrolet S-10 pick-up truck travelling southbound on North Gregson Street in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article claims that car thieves prefer American cars in Indiana. Absent a very important piece of information, this is a spurious claim. Why?

On the Indiana list, the top spot — for the fifth straight year —belonged to full-size Chevrolet pickup trucks. The report does not specify what model of Chevy pickup thieves preferred, but it did note that the most-stolen year is 1999.

Every other vehicle on the Indiana list — which included four other pickups, the Chevy Impala, Ford Taurus, Chevy Malibu, Pontiac Grand Prix and Jeep Grand Cherokee — was a domestic make. Indiana’s list has had only American vehicles for the past decade.

via Indiana car thieves’ slogan: Steal American.

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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