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Car thieves prefer Honda sedans, American pickup trucks

December 5, 2019

Nearly 750,000 vehicles were stolen in 2018, according to the FBI, and very few of them were the high profile vehicles glamorized in films like "Gone in 60 Seconds," "John Wick," or all of the "Fast and Furious" films.

The vehicles most prized by car thieves were workaday models easily stolen and easily stripped for parts. 

The Honda Civic and Honda Accord took the top two spots in the annual "Hot Wheels" list compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau and released in late November. 

Thieves didn't strike out for the shiniest metal, either. The most stolen car was the 2000 Honda Civic at 5,290 models, and the most popular Accord was even older: 1997. The Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado followed the Hondas on thieves' take lists. 

When it comes to new vehicles for model year 2018, the 2018 GMC Sierra had the highest take rate at 1,170 units, followed by the 2018 Ford F-150 at 1,017. Other hot models for 2018 were, in order, the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Chevy Silverado, Hyundai Elantra, Ford Transit, Dodge Charger, Toyota Corolla, and Chevrolet Malibu. Honda didn't crack the top 10 for 2018 models, indicating security measures have been tightened or their parts are less transferable.  

Here's a look at the top 10 overall vehicles stolen in 2018, regardless of model year. In the meantime, the NICB recommends removing keys from the car, locking up, parking in well-lit spaces, using warning devices like VIN etching or theft deterrent decals, or investing in immobilizing devices like kill switches, or tracking devices, which are offered by some insurance companies.

10. 2000 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

2000 Jeep Cherokee SE

2000 Jeep Cherokee SE

There were 9,818 Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models stolen in 2018, but the 2000 model year was most popular for thieves, with 646 units stolen.

9. 2001 Dodge Ram 1500

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Work Special

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Work Special

Remember when Dodge Ram was one unified brand that made trucks? Thieves do. The 2001 Dodge Ram pickup was the hottest model, with 1,155 units stolen out of 11,226 across model years.

8. 2018 GMC Sierra

2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

The GMC Sierra was the only new model for 2018 that led all other years for that particular model. Thieves stole 1,170 of the 2018 Sierra out of 11,708 stolen across all model years. 

7. 2017 Toyota Corolla

2017 Toyota Corolla, test drive, Ojai, California, Sep 2016

2017 Toyota Corolla, test drive, Ojai, California, Sep 2016

The tried and true Toyota Corolla was picked off 12,388 times, with the 2017 model most popular for thieves at 1,034 units. 

6. 2017 Nissan Altima

2017 Nissan Altima

2017 Nissan Altima

Who says sedans aren't popular? Last year, 13,284 Nissan Altima mid-size sedans were stolen, with 1,451 model year 2017s. 

5. 2017 Toyota Camry

2017 Toyota Camry

2017 Toyota Camry

The perennial best-selling car is not the most-stolen car. Only 16,906 Camrys were stolen, less than half of the hot Accords, with 2017 being hottest (1,144 units). 

4. 2004 Chevrolet Silverado

2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS

2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS

Big trucks make a big jump over sedans in annual thefts; 31,566 Silverado trucks were stolen in 2018, with model year 2004 most popular (2,097 units).

3. 2006 Ford F-150

2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch

2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch

America's best-selling vehicle nearly edged the Accord for second most stolen at 36,355 units. The most stolen model year was the 2006 F-Series at 3,173 units. 

2. 1997 Honda Accord

1997 Honda Accord Sdn Value Pkg

1997 Honda Accord Sdn Value Pkg

Hotter still: 36,815 Honda Accord were stolen in 2018, with thieves most prizing the 1997 model at 5,029 units.

1. 2000 Honda Civic

2000 Honda Civic Sedan

2000 Honda Civic Sedan

So many Civics, so many thefts. Civics were the most popular and 38,246 were stolen, with 5,290 model year 2000 units stolen in 2018. 

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