NICB: Pickups high on thieves’ wish list, most-stolen vehicle in nearly half of states


The National Insurance Crime Bureau has released its annual Hot Wheels report which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles, and full-size pickups from each of the Big Three US automakers made the list.

The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2013.

In a state-by-state analysis, pickups are the most stolen vehicle in nearly half of the U.S.

For 2013, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses):

  • 1. Honda Accord        (53,995)
  • 2. Honda Civic            (45,001)
  • 3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)        (27,809)
  • 4. Ford Pickup (Full Size)     (26,494)
  • 5. Toyota Camry        (14,420)
  • 6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)  (11,347)
  • 7. Dodge Caravan      (10,911)
  • 8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
  • 9. Toyota Corolla       (9,010)
  • 10. Nissan Altima      (8,892)

The peak year for vehicle thefts was 1991 with 1,661,738. If the FBI’s preliminary 2013 vehicle theft estimate holds, thefts will be under 700,000 – a number not seen since 1967 and a reduction in vehicle thefts of over 50 percent since 1991. After a slight increase in 2012, the FBI predicts a reduction in national vehicle thefts of 3.2 percent when final 2013 statistics are released later this year.

“The drop in thefts is good news for all of us,” says NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “But it still amounts to a vehicle being stolen every 45 seconds and losses of over $4 billion a year. That’s why we applaud the vehicle manufacturers for their efforts to improve anti–theft technology and pledge to continue to work with our insurance company members and law enforcement to identify and seek vigorous prosecution of the organized criminal rings responsible for so many of these thefts.”

Nonetheless, drivers must still be vigilant and protect their vehicles from theft. NICB recommends its four “layers of protection” against theft:

Common Sense: Lock your vehicle 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 that 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.