The National Insurance Crime Bureau on August 16 released its own list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States.
And for the first time since 2002, NICB discovered thieves preferred domestic nameplates over foreign brands.
Among the top 10, Ford took three spots, Dodge held two and Chevrolet held one, while the remaining four were held by Honda, Toyota and Acura.
However, the top three positions continue to be held by Honda and Toyota models, a trend that NICB said has been consistent since 2000.
According to an examination of vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center in 2010, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were:
—1994 Honda Accord
—1995 Honda Civic
—1991 Toyota Camry
—1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
—1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup
—2004 Dodge Ram
—2000 Dodge Caravan
—1994 Acura Integra
—2002 Ford Explorer
—1999 Ford Taurus
NICB insisted Hot Wheels is the only report that examines all theft data without regard to a vehicle’s insured status thereby providing a more complete view of the vehicle theft landscape.
For example, officials explained certain models of older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts — but many are not insured against theft. Whereas they emphasized newer, more expensive and insured vehicles are often stolen to be resold intact with counterfeit vehicle identification numbers or shipped out of the country.
Overall, vehicle thefts continue their decline, according to NICB.
Officials noted preliminary 2010 FBI crime statistics point to a further 7.2 percent reduction over the thefts posted in 2009.
Should the preliminary numbers hold when the FBI produces its final statistics later this year, 2010 will contain the fewest vehicle thefts since 1967.
NICB believes improved technology is one of the keys to lower theft rates, and the organization contends its Hot Wheels statistics demonstrate that.
Of the nearly 52,000 Honda Accords stolen in 2010, officials indicated more than 44,000 were models made in the 1990s, compared with fewer than 5,700 that were produced since the year 2000.
“Even though the continuing decline in vehicle thefts is great news, if it happens to you it can be financially devastating and just an all-around hassle,” NICB officials stated.
“NICB urges motorists to follow its ‘layered approach’ to auto theft prevention,” they continued. “By employing simple, low-cost suggestions, people can make their vehicles less attractive to thieves.
NICB’s four layers of protection are:
—Common Sense: Lock your car and take your keys. “It’s simple enough, but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars,” NICB pointed out.
—Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that the vehicle remains where it was left.
—Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, NICB thinks if the vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be stolen. “Kill switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices which are extremely effective,” officials insisted.
—Tracking Device: NICB explained a tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. “Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles,” officials noted. “Some systems employ ‘telematics,’ which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner, and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.”
Since 2005, NICB has offered a free, limited vehicle history service for consumers that’s made possible by its participating member companies. More details about NICB’s VINCheck is available at www.nicb.org/vincheck.
Furthermore, anyone with information concerning vehicle theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling (800) TEL-NICB or (800) 835-6422), texting keyword “fraud" to TIP411 (847411) or by visiting its website at www.nicb.org.