Which of these two automobile models would you suspect to be the one most frequently stolen car: the Dodge Charger or the Chevy Camaro? Would you believe that it is neither one – it is the humble Honda Accord?
The Honda Accord was indeed the most stolen car during the 2013 calendar year, according to statistics released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Accords of various years were stolen 53,995 times in 2013, with its lesser cousin the Honda Civic in second place with 45,001 thefts. Chevy Silverado trucks were a distant third at 27,809 thefts.
Why are Hondas so popular to steal? After all, they aren’t particularly expensive or unique – you can see them everywhere.
That is exactly why they are stolen more often. There are lots of them on the road, many as older models with lesser built-in theft protection. In addition, since they are ubiquitous, their parts are also in high demand, making them popular with thieves who supply “chop shops” with stolen cars to be disassembled.
The next four on the list are equally unglamorous: the Ford F-150 pickup with 26,494 thefts, the Toyota Camry at 14,420 thefts, the Dodge Ram pickup at 11,347 thefts, and the Dodge Caravan with 10,911 thefts.
Newer vehicles are stolen far less often, because of the lower demand for spare parts and improvements in anti-theft technology. Of 2013 models, here are the top seven stolen models: Nissan Altima (810), Ford Fusion (793), Ford F-150 (775), Toyota Corolla (669), Chevy Impala (654), Hyundai Elantra (541), and the Dodge Charger (536). That means that for every Charger that goes missing, there are more than 100 Accords!
It would be almost impossible for either new cars or sports cars to register among the seven most frequently stolen cars, simply because there are fewer of them on the road compared to the Hondas and pickup trucks listed. Not only are there less of them to steal, they are almost certainly better protected with anti-theft mechanisms.
Separate statistics that focus on “sporty” cars were released last year by NICB based on information from the National Crime Information Center for 2010-2012 model years from the beginning of 2009 through the end of 2012. American cars topped the list, with the Chevy Camaro the overall “winner” with 1,509 cars taken during the study period. The Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger placed second and third, with 980 and 782 cars taken respectively.
It is a significant drop off to the next four on the list. The Porsche Panamera was stolen 103 times and 101 Audi A5/S5 models were taken, as well as 69 Chevy Corvettes and 47 Nissan 370Zs.
California is the top spot for stolen sports cars at 764, with Florida in second place at 443 thefts and Texas in third place at 381 taken. That is no surprise, as all are warm weather locales with large metro areas and a surplus of sports cars on the highway.
While the model of your car may make it more attractive to thieves, the real attraction is in poor theft protection and enhanced opportunity. The easier a car is to steal, the more likely it is to be stolen.
If you have a car that is on any of these lists, taking simple and obvious precautions like locking your car, taking the keys with you, and parking in well-lit areas will help keep your car safe. After all, if your Honda is one of many parked on the street, thieves are more likely to take the easiest one to steal. Be smart, and keep your car from becoming a statistic in next year’s reports.