Do you own a car that's likely to be stolen? Maybe, maybe not. Here is the list that the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) has compiled concerning the most stolen vehicles in America. Honda's 1994 Accord and 1995 Civic along with Toyota's 1991 Camry occupy the first three places ahead of Ford's 1997 F-150 pickup truck and Dodge's 2004 Ram pickup.
If your car is on the list (scroll down), you should make sure to keep that chunk of metal locked down. As in, put a ring on it and don't let anyone near it.
Most Stolen Vehicles in the US in 2009:
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1991 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
5. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
6. 2000 Dodge Caravan
7. 1994 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
8. 1994 Acura Integra
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 2009 Toyota Corolla
The FBI says car thefts were down 17% in 2009 compared to 2008 (794,616 versus 956,846), which is officially the "largest drop in a six-year decline" and the lowest reported in 21 years. Good news for car owners, and clearly indicative of the fact that car thieves are falling by the wayside (or just not up to snuff on their tech).
Most of the cars listed end to end up in chop shops where the sum of their parts is more valuable than the actual car. More serious thieves (those in syndicates with ties to shipping and international trade) still feel fine stealing newer cars that can be re-VIN'd and distributed overseas, so your Escalade and XJR aren't necessarily safe just yet.
You'll notice the majority of the cars on the list are from the 1990's. It turns out these older cars have become more popular, but many people have yet to figure out why. I'd say it probably comes down to the simple fact that they're easier to steal. Many modern cars have keys that only work with one specific car, while other cars simply can't be started without a chip (found in the key fob) nearby.
Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO, says, "Through the end of August this year there were 97,655 vehicles that were listed as stolen and not yet recovered. Of that number, only 38 percent had some kind of insurance coverage. So there are a lot of vehicles out there that are being stolen and the owner is left holding the bag with no car and no money to buy another one." Lesson? If you own a vehicle that's likely to get stolen, insure it accordingly and be safe about it.
Here are some of the NICB's tips on how to make sure your car doesn't get got by some shady individuals:
"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.
Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.
Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, if your 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.
Tracking Device: 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. 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."
By Phil Alex