The Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles and Why Thieves Love Them
Curious about which cars are topping the charts for all the wrong reasons? It's an disturbing thought, but certain vehicles just seem to be on every car thief's wish list.
In 2020, the FBI estimated a total of around 873,080 vehicle thefts in the U.S.—which was an increase from the previous years.
But have you ever wondered why certain vehicles are more commonly stolen than others?
Trends & Hot Spots
Due to tech advancements in recent years, newer vehicles have become a common target. Keyless entry and ignition systems are more susceptible to tech-savvy thieves.
According to the NICB, Albuquerque, New Mexico often tops the list for the highest auto theft rates per capita. Other high-theft cities include Anchorage, Alaska, and Bakersfield, California.
Implications Associated with Stolen Vehicles
Only about 59% of stolen vehicles are recovered. Many are sold for parts, used in crimes, or exported to other countries.
The approximate total value of vehicles stolen in 2020 was more than $7 billion. The average dollar loss per theft was about $8,886.
Anti-theft systems—alarms, steering and wheel locks—are proven to deter thieves. Car theft rates are lower in states where more people have these devices. But what if you don’t have one?
In order to protect you car, you need a combination of common sense and proactive measures.
- Always lock your car and take the keys with you, even for a quick stop.
- Park in well-lit areas or secure garages when you can.
- Invest in an anti-theft device, such as steering wheel locks, an immobilizer, or an alarm system.
- Enable your vehicle’s GPS tracking system, if you have one.
- Double-check that windows are closed when you leave the vehicle.
- Never leave valuables in plain sight. Use the glovebox, or tuck things under your seat.
A few simple habits can make a world of difference in the security of your car.
Now, let’s dive into 10 of the most stolen vehicles and uncover the reasons behind their fame.
Why It’s Targeted: Older models of the Honda Civic, particularly from the late '90s to early 2000s, are incredibly popular targets due to their lack of advanced security features.
Also, parts for these older models are in high demand, making them profitable for thieves looking to strip and sell.
Why It’s Targeted: Much like the Civic, older Accords are easy targets due to a lack of security tech. Their lasting popularity means replacement parts are always in demand.
Ford Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: Even though Ford pickups are popular, their parts are in high demand. Plus, there’s so many of them on the road, whichincreases the odds of them being stolen.
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: It’s no different than the Ford Pickup. High demand, both for the vehicle and its parts, make it a common target.
Why It’s Targeted: The Toyota Camry is known for reliability—which makes it a desirable target. Also, its parts are universal across several model years, making them easy to sell.
Why It’s Targeted: The Nissan Altima is a popular vehicle, making it a popular target. Not to mention, some models are lacking in anti-theft systems, which just makes it easier.
Why It’s Targeted: The Toyota Corolla is popular all over the world which ensures a steady market for parts. Older models that lack security features are even easier to break into.
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: Dodge's full-size pickups, especially older models, are both popular and, in some cases, lack security features, making them prime targets.
Why It’s Targeted: Older models of the Impala can be easy to steal due to their lack of security devices. Plus, their longevity means there’s always a demand for parts.
Ford F-250 Super Duty
Why It’s Targeted: The Ford F-250 Super Duty, part of the heavy-duty segment, is often targeted, possibly due to its powerful performance and parts that are profitable to sell.
The vehicle’s utility advantage make it appealing for both its selling and its use in committing other types of crimes.
Also, older models didn’t have the security features making them easier targets.
While any vehicle can become a target for theft, understanding the trends and reasons behind these specific targets can help car owners be more vigilant.
Having advanced security systems, no matter what car you own, is a smart choice.
Protecting your vehicle is important for your safety and peace of mind.