For many years, vehicles from the 1990s were some of the most popular choices for thieves. These cars were easy for groups of thieves to “chop up”, that is, sell them for parts that when sold separately could be worth more than the car itself. But in the past few years, there has been in an increase in thefts of newer cars.
In years past, there have been a lot of thefts of Honda Civics and Accords. These cars were some of the most popular cars on the road, and their parts were very valuable on the black market. In addition, these stolen cars were easy to steal, making them good targets for thieves.
Lately, however, criminals are choosing later model vehicles in addition to these standards. While the most stolen cars in 2011 include the 1994 Honda Accord, the 1998 Civic, and the 1991 Toyota Camry, the 2006 Ford pickup is the third most stolen car. The top ten most stolen vehicles according to the NICB are listed here:
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1998 Honda Civic
3. 2006 Ford pickup (full size)
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
6. 1994 Acura Integra
7. 1999 Chevrolet pickup (full size)
8. 2004 Dodge pickup (full size)
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 1994 Nissan Sentra
This list seems to point towards a trend of later model vehicles getting stolen more often. For many years, older model vehicles were avoided by thieves because new technology was making them harder to steal. In recent years, however, criminals are learning to defeat this new technology. Most of the new security systems are based on keeping the engine of a car from starting if the right key is not used. To defeat these systems, car thieves have to obtain the right key codes for each specific vehicle, then use these codes to make replacement keys. Since most mid-range models only issue a set number of key codes, it is easier to steal a lot of cars of the same type instead of a variety of makes and models.
If your car is on this list, take some basic steps to protect yourself. Always lock your car doors (the majority of car thefts are still crimes of opportunity), and consider installing a car alarm.