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It’s that time of the year; the new list for the most stolen vehicles has been released. The easiest way to look at it is whatever is selling the most gets stolen the most, with rare exceptions. Some newer models with better theft protection systems are missing from the list. But car theft continues unabated.

With the proliferation of GPS locators and emergency response connections, it is getting harder for car thieves to get newer cars. But just give them time and they’ll eventually find ways to defeat those deterrents and away they will go. Unfortunately, car theft will never be completely gone.

Car theft increased during the pandemic

National Insurance Crime Bureau
National Insurance Crime Bureau

These lists are published every year by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. What makes this new list kind of weird is that it shows car theft actually went up during the pandemic. With everyone hunkered down, you would think that they couldn’t be bothered. But, you know, you’ve got to make a living, pandemic or no pandemic. 

The other interesting finding is that there are still cars on the list. Not generically but sedans. In fact, Honda had the number three and four most-stolen cars with the Civic and Accord. There were over 34,000 Civics and over 30,000 Accords ripped off. But pickup trucks still reigned. 

Car theft was again highest for the Ford F-150

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Tracking car thieves | Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The most stolen vehicle is the Ford F-150 at over 44,000. Coming in number two is the Chevy Silverado with almost 41,000 stolen. The GMC Sierra was down at number seven, but what would you expect? It sells much fewer pickups than either Ford or Chevy in general. Over 13,000 of them were stolen in 2020.

And at the bottom of the top ten is the Ram 1500 at almost 12,000 swiped. So all of the big trucks made it to the top ten list. But one of the big differences besides the numbers themselves is the years of the stolen vehicles. 

The most common year of stolen Accords was 1997. They’re almost 25 years old. Now, contrast the with the next two cars on the list at numbers five and six. The most common years for those respectively are 2019 and 2020. And the same is true for the Toyota Corolla. It came in at number eight and the most common year stolen was 2020. 

Some vehicles stolen were older, but not all of them

National Insurance Crime Bureau
National Insurance Crime Bureau stats

We said newer theft protection was thwarting thieves, but not for these sedans. The most common year F-150 is 2006, with the 2004 Silverado and 2001 Ram 1500. So the most stolen trucks are mostly older models. 

The good news is that GM’s OnStar, Subaru’s StarLink, and others can instantly track down a vehicle’s location. While around 42-percent of stolen cars are never recovered, LoJack says its recovery rate is 90-percent. And with systems like OnStar, it can defeat the engine or stop the vehicle from being restarted. 

So keep your eyes and ears open out there, and consider one of these anti-theft services or systems if you’re in a high-crime area.