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 unsettling 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 motor vehicle thefts in the U.S. This was an increase from the previous years.
But have you ever wondered why certain vehicles are more commonly stolen than others?
Trends & Hot Spots
In recent years, there was a shift towards the theft of newer vehicles, largely due to advancements in technology that make keyless entry and ignition systems 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 estimated total value of vehicles stolen in 2020 was more than $7 billion. The average dollar loss per theft was about $8,886.
Anti-theft devices have been shown to deter thieves. In states where anti-theft device installations are more prevalent, car theft rates tend to be lower. But what if you don’t have one of these devices?
Protecting your vehicle from theft requires 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 possible.
- Investing in anti-theft devices, such as steering wheel locks, immobilizers, or alarm systems, can serve as strong deterrents.
- Modern technology also offers GPS tracking systems that can help recover a stolen vehicle faster.
- Regularly double-check that windows are closed, and never leave valuables in plain sight to avoid tempting potential thieves.
Remember, a few simple habits can make a world of difference in vehicle security.
Now, let’s dive into 10 of the most stolen vehicles and uncover the reasons behind their dubious 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.
Additionally, parts for these models are in high demand, making them profitable for thieves looking to strip and sell.
Why It’s Targeted: Much like its sibling, the Civic, older Accords are easy targets due to dated security. Their enduring popularity means replacement parts are always in demand.
Ford Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: The Ford Pickup’s popularity, especially in North America, has a flip side – its parts are valuable. Plus, the sheer number of them on the road increases the odds of them being stolen.
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: The rationale here mirrors that of the Ford Pickup. High demand, both for the vehicle and its parts, drives up theft rates.
Why It’s Targeted: The Camry’s renowned reliability ironically makes it a favorite. Its parts are universal across several model years, making them valuable for resale.
Why It’s Targeted: A popular vehicle on the roads, the Altima’s parts are in consistent demand. Moreover, specific models might lack advanced anti-theft systems, making them easier targets.
Why It’s Targeted: Its global popularity ensures a steady market for parts, and older models can be easier to break into than more modern, tech-heavy vehicles.
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
Why It’s Targeted: Dodge's full-size pickups, especially older models, are both popular and, in some cases, lack advanced 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 sophisticated anti-theft 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, often catches the eye of car thieves, possibly due to its powerful performance and parts that are valuable on the resale market. The vehicle’s inherent utility can make it appealing for both its resale value and its use in committing other types of crimes.
Furthermore, older versions of the F-250 didn’t have the advanced security features present in the newer models, 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. Investing in advanced security systems, no matter what car you own, is always a wise choice.
Protecting your vehicle isn't just about monetary value; it's about safety, peace of mind, and ensuring your ride is there when you need it.