Car thieves were less active in 2013, thanks to improved anti-theft technology and efforts from law enforcement, but some models still attracted the more daring of pilferers.
Hondas continue to suffer the highest theft rates, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “Hot Wheels” report on auto theft, though overall theft has been on a long-term downward trajectory. In fact, the number of thefts has not risen above 700,000 since 1967 and overall theft has declined more than 50% since 1991.
NICB President and CEO Jon Wehrle attributes the improvement to vehicle manufacturers, improved anti-theft technology and collaboration between insurance companies and law enforcement.
It’s all great news, but car theft is still a significant economic hardship and one that is strikingly common—one vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds, resulting in losses of more than $4 billion a year, according to the NICB.
According to nationwide data, these 10 models were the most stolen of all in 2014:
1. Honda Accord (51,290)
2. Honda Civic (43,936)
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (28,680)
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (23,196)
5. Toyota Camry (14,605)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,075)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,483)
8. Nissan Altima (9,109)
9. Acura Integra (6,902)
10. Nissan Maxima (6,586)
In a release, the NICB advised drivers of its four “Layers of Protection” for preventing theft.
- Common Sense: Lock your car and take your keys. It’s simple enough, but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars.
- Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.
- Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, if your vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be stolen. “Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices that are extremely effective.
- Tracking Device: A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ “telematics,” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.