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You might think that because you drive an older model Honda, you’re in the clear when it comes to auto theft. The truth is, the Honda Civic is the model most often reported stolen. There’s one model year in particular that tops the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) list of the ten most stolen cars and trucks in the United States. When you drive one of the market’s most popular cars, it’s a good idea to remember that the criminals like them too. So, which Honda Civic model year do car thieves love the most?

The Civic isn’t the only Honda on this list

Honda Civic on display
2019 Honda Civic | Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Coming in second place on the top ten most frequently stolen vehicles list is the Honda Accord. This popular family vehicle was stolen over 43,500 times in 2017. Out of those Honda Accords reported stolen, 6,301 were 1997 models. Why target older models? One source suggests that 1997 was the last year Hondas didn’t have an immobilizer, and car thieves were well aware.

Honda produced plenty of Civic and Accord models in the early years prior to anti-theft technology. But, to combat the common problems with break-ins and car theft in general, they began to include RFID and Engine immobilizer tech. Of course, forgetting to lock your Honda Civic or leaving the keys in the car is not on the automaker, but thinking about the keyless entry as a method of reducing the number of forgotten keys in the ignition has worked. While the newer models are harder to steal, it doesn’t take the Civic or the Accord off the target list.

Consumer reviews boast how great the Honda cars are in general. They are often hearty vehicles with plenty of features and excellent fuel efficiency. They’re very affordable to both purchase and own. These may be the same reasons car thieves continue to flock to them. Some suggest the older model Hondas make great targets because they hold their value longer and are easily parted out for scrap profits. Sure, they’re not the flashy gemstone sports cars that criminals steal in the movies, but they’re long-lasting cars with great value – apparently to both consumers and criminals.

If you’re driving this model year Civic, be alert

A silver 1998 Honda Civic sedan
1998 Honda Civic | Honda

Based on the NICB’s top ten list of hot targets for car thieves, the Honda Civic is at the top. The number one model year more often stolen is 1998. In fact, out of the 45,062 Civics taken in 2017, 6,707 of them were 1998 models.

According to Torque News, we found the top vehicle color preference for theft is silver, followed by black, white, gold, and green. If you have one of these cars, first off, congratulations on keeping it tuned and in shape. It’s impressive to be still driving a 20-year-old vehicle. But also, beware. Always remember to lock your Civic, and don’t leave it running, even just for a quick errand. Criminals may have their eyes on your ride.

Where you live matters too

We also learned that geographic regions of the U.S. show varying interests in cars and trucks worth stealing. While the Accords and Civics top the most-stolen list in most states, truck owners need to beware as well. Older model pickups are on this list and tend to be favorite targets in Texas and Florida.

More recent numbers have shown declines in Honda Civic thefts, probably due to the anti-theft tech upgrades. But you can do your part by playing it safe. Be mindful of your surroundings, where you park, and keeping your Civic locked up. Your car may be your prized possession. But to thieves in your area, it may be their favorite too.