In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 40 seconds. This is a huge number of car thefts.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported on this. It was stated that vehicle theft rates are highest in 50 years, even with advanced security and theft prevention technologies that modern cars possess. The NICB released its annual car theft report on Tuesday. It identifies the most stolen models of 2017, as well as the most stolen vehicles through history, giving details on the years, which presented the highest risk.
Here is NICB‘s list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in the 2017 calendar year, the most stolen model year, and the total theft number of each model during that particular year:
1. Honda Civic: 45,062 thefts (most stolen year: 1998, with 6,707 thefts)
2. Honda Accord: 43,764 thefts (most stolen year: 1997, with 6,301 thefts)
3. Ford F-Series: 35,105 thefts (most stolen year: 2006, with 3,151 thefts)
4. Chevy pickup trucks: 30,058 thefts (most stolen year: 2004, with 1,970 thefts)
5. Toyota Camry: 17,278 thefts (most stolen year: 2017, with 1,100 thefts)
6. Nissan Altima: 13,358 thefts (most stolen year: 2016, with 1,450 thefts)
7. Toyota Corolla: 12,337 thefts (most stolen year: 2016, with 1,012 thefts)
8. Ram/Dodge Ram: 12,004 thefts (most stolen year: 2001, with 1,242 thefts)
9. GMC pickups: 10,865 thefts (most stolen year: 2017, with 957 thefts)
10. Chevy Impala: 9,487 thefts (most stolen year: 2008, with 991 thefts)
From these ten models, five are on the list of the most stolen cars last year:
Nissan Altima: 1,153 stolen models
Toyota Camry: 1,100 stolen models
GMC Pickups: 957 stolen models
Hyundai Elantra: 929 stolen models
Ford Fusion: 874 stolen models
Ford F-Series: 842 stolen models
Ram/Dodge Ram: 835 stolen models
Toyota Corolla: 832 stolen models
GMC Savana: 774 stolen models
Hyundai Sonata: 759 stolen models
Two Japanese cars, the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry, also appeared on the lists in 2016, with Altima thefts being even more common. The only van to make either list among the 2017 models is the GMC Savana. This is probably because it is almost exclusively a work vehicle, instead of a lifestyle vehicle, as many carry valuable building materials, tools, and other expensive work-related cargo.
The question is then, why do thieves target one model over another?
Explained by NICB’s public affairs director Frank Scafidi, popularity could be one of the causes. He said Hondas and Toyotas share the most stolen title for years. It mostly has to do with the huge number of those vehicles produced, sold, and still operating over the years. In addition, drivers tend to make it easy for thieves by leaving their cars running, or even leaving the keys inside. He also mentioned how Honda thefts decreased by a large margin after smart keys were introduced in 1998.
But what is actually the best way to avoid your car being stolen? The NICB presents some suggestions, which start with the one that should be obvious. Always lock your four-wheeler, and do NOT leave your keys inside.
Even the most secure vehicle on the planet is extremely vulnerable if the driver fails to take the time to activate its security systems. Nobody should be leaving their keys inside of the car.
Earlier, some models were just too easy to steal, through either a design flaw or the use of a ‘bump key.’ This is a ground down key, which works effectively in the ignition of many different models from the same manufacturer. Luckily, those tricks are no longer possible due to improvements in both security and manufacturing. Examples of these are the keyless ignitions and smart keys.
Finally, yet among the most important things, the NICB suggests investing in a theft-deterring warning device, like alarms. If such a device does not scare away thieves, car trackers and immobilizers are an option. These would either allow the vehicle to be found, or prevent the someone taking it without your permission. Ideally, the thief would also be somewhere near. Smart keys are not perfect, however, so another theft deterrent is an option. A manual transmission. Since most Americans do not know how to drive a manual, a car like this would most likely throw thieves away.