In movies, car thieves often favor exotic, rare rides like Lamborghinis, Bugattis, and vintage Mustangs. But according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (and our own personal experience), real-life thieves usually opt for more mundane targets.
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To prove it, the NICB has just released its list of most-stolen vehicles for 2013. All of those in the top ten are big-selling, mass-market models, making them easy for thieves to find and disguise:
1. Honda Accord (53,995 stolen)
2. Honda Civic (45,001)
3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,809)
4. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,494)
5. Toyota Camry (14,420)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,347)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,911)
8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
9. Toyota Corolla (9,010)
10. Nissan Altima (8,892)
The Honda Accord has graced the #1 spot on the NICB's list for some time. However, as the organization notes in the video above, most of the Accords stolen in 2013 were actually models from the 1990s, before Honda made its anti-theft technology standard equipment. For every one 2013 Accord thieves took, they drove off with nearly 30 from 1996.
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As you might expect from stats like that, the NICB found that thefts of late-model vehicles were fairly rare, making up a tiny portion of the whole. Among 2013 models, the Nissan Altima took top "honors" last year, with 810 thefts across the U.S.:
1. Nissan Altima (810)
2. Ford Fusion (793)
3. Ford Pickup Full Size (775)
4. Toyota Corolla (669)
5. Chevrolet Impala (654)
6. Hyundai Elantra (541)
7. Dodge Charger (536)
8. Chevrolet Malibu (529)
9. Chevrolet Cruze (499)
10. Ford Focus (483)
The good news in all of this is that car thefts have continued to decline. Last year, roughly 700,000 vehicles were stolen in America, compared to 1,661,738 in 1991. That's a very, very big drop. It's even a decline from last year, when 721,053 vehicles were taken by bad guys (and gals).
The NICB attributes the drop in thefts to a combination of in-car technology, police work, and insurance investigations. Speaking on behalf of the NICB, President/CEO Joe Wehrle says that "[W]e applaud the vehicle manufacturers for their efforts to improve anti–theft technology and pledge to continue to work with our insurance company members and law enforcement to identify and seek vigorous prosecution of the organized criminal rings responsible for so many of these thefts."
As optimistic as that sounds, though, we're not out of the woods yet -- not by a long shot. Remember, high summer is high season for auto theft. Maybe it's time to reacquaint yourselves with our six tips for confounding car thieves?
(c) 2014, High Gear Media.