The National Insurance Crime Bureau has just released its annual ‘Hot Wheels’ report, detailing the most stolen cars in America. The report is a top ten list of the nation’s most in-demand vehicles by car thieves (or at least most easily accessible), by taking data submitted by law enforcement agencies from across the country. With that information, the NICB is able to determine the make, model and year of the vehicles that were reported stolen the most for a given period of time.
The report contains few surprises as to the top stolen vehicles. Many of the usual suspects people would expect to see have made the list, including models from Honda, Toyota, and Ford. There is a solid mix of both import and domestic vehicles, as well as both large and smaller vehicles. It is also expected that overall vehicles thefts should decline by 3.2 percent from 2012 to 2013, which would keep the total amount nationwide under 700,000.
That would mark the least amount of car thefts since the late 1960s, and a 50 percent drop since 1991.
NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle says the numbers indicate a positive swing, but that there are still too many thefts occurring. “It still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year,” he said. “That’s why we 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.”
Here are the top ten vehicles that were reported stolen during 2013, according to law enforcement numbers analyzed by the NICB.
10. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima was the tenth most-stolen vehicle during 2013, according to law enforcement agencies. A total of 8,892 Altima units were reported as stolen last year, and Nissan’s popular sedan was also the most oft-stolen 2013 model year vehicle during the year as well. In all, a total of 8,892 of these cars were called into police as missing. That’s not a paltry sum, but well below many of the other vehicles on the list. Fortunately, it’s also the only Nissan model to earn a spot as well.
9. Toyota Corolla
The second Japanese import in as many entries, Toyota’s Corolla makes the list at number nine. Law enforcement agencies tallied up slightly more than 9,000 stolen Corolla reports over the course of last year, 669 of those with the 2013 model year. Toyota vehicles have been a big target for vehicle thieves for many years, with the company’s small cars and even pickup trucks being very popular with the criminal community.
8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
The only SUV to grace the top ten comes from Jeep, with its Cherokee models. There were 9,272 total Cherokee vehicles reported stolen over the course of 2013. Criminals may have been looking to take advantage of the Cherokee’s storied capability and high popularity. The Cherokee is one of the more well-known SUV models in America, and thefts may be due to the fact that there are simply a lot of them out on the road.
7. Dodge Caravan
The Jeep Cherokee was the only SUV to appear in the top ten, and the Dodge Caravan is the only van. The Caravan, like the Jeep Cherokee, is also one of the most popular vehicles in its segment, which may be one of the reasons its instance of theft is so high. Nearly 11,000 Caravans were stolen last year alone, with tens of thousands more stolen in preceding years. The incentive behind stealing a minivan is a curious one — although there is sure to be a large market for parts and accessories.
6. Dodge Pickup
Pickup trucks are a huge target for car thieves, and Dodge models are not glossed over by prying eyes. Full-size Dodge pickups, including Ram models (although technically Ram is its own brand now) are the biggest target of criminals, with other attractive options like the Dakota being out there as well, though they’ve been discontinued. Ram trucks — with their recent redesigns, powerful engines and large amount of parts — accounted for 11,347 vehicle thefts in 2013 alone.
5. Toyota Camry
Another entry from Toyota, the Camry is a car that thieves have kept close tabs on for years; and in 2013, 14,420 of them were taken from their owners. The Camry is another immensely popular consumer vehicle, with millions of units criss-crossing roads around the globe from decades of production. Like it sibling the Corolla, the Camry is hard to pass up for potential criminals. A large market for parts and accessories, along with a high volume of potential targets make the Camry an attractive target.
4. Ford Pickup
If there is one downside to having the country’s best-selling pickup for many years running, it’s that there is probably a large number of thefts that occur as well. That’s the case with Ford full-size pickups, including the F series and America’s favorite truck, the F-150. Nearly 26,500 Ford full-size pickups were stolen last year, and 775 of them held the 2013 model year. That number was good enough to get the number three ranking on the list of vehicles stolen when they are relatively brand new.
3. Chevrolet Pickup
Ford and Dodge aren’t the only big truck manufacturers in America, and Chevy doesn’t dodge the bullet in terms of vehicle thefts either. Full-size Chevrolet pickups, namely the Silverado line, were reported stolen a whopping 27,809 times over the course of 2013. Like many other vehicles on the NICB’s list, there are a large number of Silverados around the country, giving stolen trucks — and their components — plenty of value.
2. Honda Civic
One vehicle infamous for being a hot commodity on the streets is the Honda Civic. There are a ton of factors that make the Civic an ideal target for mischief, including its incredible popularity, the market for parts and accessories and the sheer amount of them that are actually occupying American roadways. According to the NICB’s report, 45,001 Civics were reported stolen last year. The incredible rift between the third place entry and the Civic may be something for potential buyers to note, as the Civic is disproportionately more likely to be stolen than most other vehicles.
1. Honda Accord
Finally, topping the list as the country’s most stolen vehicle is the Honda Accord. Somehow beating out its brother the Civic, the Accord was reported as stolen an eye-popping 53,995 times last year. That’s a full 9,000 more incidents than were reported with the Civic. Even more incredible is the rift between the top and bottom of the list in terms of quantity of thefts. The Accord was reported stolen nearly 45,000 more times than the Nissan Altima. For prospective buyers, Honda thefts are definitely something to keep in mind. They make fantastic cars, but they’re also attractive targets and act as proverbial beacons for car thieves.