America’s Most Wanted — By Car Thieves
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently released its latest findings on the most stolen cars in America. The annual “Hot Wheels” report analyzes vehicle theft data submitted to the NICB by law enforcement agencies from around the country. According to the NICB, during 2016 there were more than 750,000 vehicles stolen in the U.S. — an increase of more than 50,000 versus 2015. “The increase in vehicle thefts over the past two years should be a reminder that drivers must do their part to protect their vehicles,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Anti-theft systems in newer model cars and trucks are excellent, but they don’t work if you don’t use them. Far too many thefts occur because the vehicle is left unlocked and the key or fob is inside. “ It’s no surprise that the list of most stolen vehicles is a close reflection of the best-selling vehicles in America. Here’s a look at 10 vehicles that were most popular among car thieves in 2016.
10. Jeep Cherokee / Grand Cherokee
9,245 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2000
The Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are quite popular today, but it’s the original Cherokee that seems to be a favorite among car thieves. In 2000 the boxy-styled Cherokee was approaching the end of its life; however, it had just received a more powerful 4.0-liter engine, which may be one of the reasons most were stolen that year. The year 2000 was also big for the Grand Cherokee — in fact, Jeep has not matched the annual Grand Cherokee sales figures since that year.
9. Chevrolet Impala
9,749 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2008
Impala has been around for a long time. The current version — introduced in 2013 — is the tenth generation since the model premiered in 1958. However, Impala sales peaked at the 2008 model year and have been on a general decline ever since. Given that more than 500,000 Impalas were sold in 2007 and 2008 alone, the popularity of the 2008 model among car thieves is no big surprise.
8. Toyota Corolla
11,989 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2015
The Corolla is a perennial favorite among those who choose not to pay for their cars. Toyota claims more than 40 million Corollas have been sold since it was introduced in 1966. Sales have steadily increased over the last several years, making Corolla the best-selling compact car in the U.S. The Corolla’s ubiquity means there are plenty available for thieves to get their hands on, and considerable demand for parts.
7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
12,128 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2001
The third-most-popular truck among thieves, Dodge pickups also hold third place in sales behind other Chevrolet and Ford offerings. In 2002 Dodge introduced its first redesigned pickup in eight years with bold styling that laid the foundation for what we now see on the road, but the previous generation — selling around 400,000 units each year — created the pool that truck thieves are dipping into the most today. The current generation of Ram will likely start experiencing increased thefts, since the big truck is regularly surpassing 400,000 units each year.
6. Nissan Altima
12,221 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2015
All new for the 2013 model year, the re-imagined Altima reinforced a steady sales increase that started back in 2009. Sales hit record levels for Nissan’s popular sedan following the redesign, and 2015 was a record year for Altima sales. Coincidentally, 2015 was also an infamous year in which the most Altimas were stolen in a single year. Altima’s nice mix of comfort, style and great fuel economy keeps sales high, and conversely makes more models available to car thieves.
5. Toyota Camry
16,732 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2016
Camry has held the title of best-selling passenger car in America for 15 years, and with a roomy interior and fuel-efficient, reliable engines, this popular Toyota sells in huge numbers annually. A completely redesigned car hit showrooms in 2014 as a 2015 model, and it seems like the new features and styling have been appealing to more than just buyers. With an all-new Camry coming to market this year, we don’t expect to see this trend change.
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
31,238 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2004
The full-size Chevy Silverado is another popular choice among truck-jackers. Although the 2004 model year seems to be the most sought after, Silverado was basically unchanged from 2003 to 2007 and thus the number of stolen Chevy trucks has remained consistent for those model years. Available with a variety of engines and configurations, Silverado sales have been on the rise, which may result in increased thefts in years to come.
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size)
32,721 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 2006
Not only are Ford F-Series trucks the best-selling vehicles in America, they outsell every other vehicle on the market by a considerable margin. With so many Ford trucks on the road — the company commonly sells more than 700,000 per year — it’s no surprise to see the F-Series consistently near the top of this most stolen list.
2. Honda Civic
49,547 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model year: 1998
One of the most widespread compact cars throughout America, the Civic remains a popular target for car thieves. The model started its life as a subcompact but has grown over the years; however, it’s those original smaller models that remain big targets among car thieves. Most purloined Civics are from model years prior to 2000, before smartkeys became prevalent — somewhat surprising since Civic has remained one of the best-selling cars in America.
1. Honda Accord
50,427 stolen in 2016
Most stolen model years: 1997
Continuing its streak for another year as the most stolen vehicle in the United States, the Honda Accord’s dubious fame is a direct result of its popularity with drivers everywhere as economical, reliable transportation that retains its resale value. And the sheer number of Accords on the road provides thieves with easy choices and access. Smartkeys were introduced on Accord in 1998, so most of the stolen models come from years prior — since that time the number of Accords stolen each year has dropped considerably.