Although it may seem that the most likely automobiles to be stolen would be the most expensive brands, in fact, the opposite is true. On the list of the top 10 most prevalent cars to be stolen are actually Hondas and Toyotas. In fact, the number one most stolen car in America is actually the older Honda Accord and Civic models, as well as the late model Toyota Corolla, ranked 10th, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The 2010 NICB “Hot wheels” report revealed the actual number and models that were stolen last year. The statistics were then compiled by the FBI’s 2009 Uniform Crime Report that was recently released. Surprisingly, the numbers of thefts were down last year: 794,616 vehicles were reported stolen, down 17%.
The main reason that older models are targeted is that those models are much less likely to have anti-theft devices, such as alarms, tracking devices, or immobilizers. There is also a very strong market for auto parts theft and resale in the more common models such as Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.
More expensive luxury models are more often stolen by organized crime cohorts with the intent of reselling the vehicle with a phony VIN and/or overseas. The most commonly stolen vehicles for 2009, in order, with the top stolen vehicles first are: the 1994 Honda Accord, 1995 Honda Civic, 1991 Toyota Camry, 1997 Ford F-150, 2004 Dodge Ram, 2000 Dodge Caravan, 1994 Chevrolet pickup, 1994 Acura Integra, 2002 Ford Explorer, and 2009 Toyota Corolla.
The report also differentiates the most frequently stolen vehicle by state. For example, in Vermont the most frequently stolen vehicles are the ’98 Subaru Legacy and ’05 Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the southern states, full-sized pickups such as Chevy, Dodge, and Ford are the most commonly stolen automobiles.
The following precautions are recommended by the NICB to prevent automobile theft:
* Lock your car and take your keys
* A visible or audible warning device to ensure that your car remains where you left it
* Immobilization device such as “kill” switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys
* A tracking device such as “telematics” that emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen
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