National Insurance Crime Bureau Lists Top Autos Targeted by Thieves

November 14, 2000

Thieves continue to find sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and mini-vans attractive targets. According to a new study conducted by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a not-for-profit insurance organization committed to combating vehicle theft and insurance fraud, nearly one-third of the top 50 most commonly stolen vehicles in 1999 were sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and mini-vans.

NICB reported that the ten most commonly stolen vehicles in the United States in 1999 were:

1. Honda Accord
2. Toyota Camry
3. Oldsmobile Cutlass
4. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
5. Honda Civic
6. Toyota Corolla
7. Jeep Cherokee
8. Chevrolet Caprice
9. Ford Taurus
10. Chevrolet Cavalier

New to the 1999 top ten list were the Chevrolet Caprice, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Cavalier. The NICB list of the top 50 most frequently stolen vehicles includes 15 pickup trucks, minivans and SUVs. They are: the Chevrolet Full Size Pickup (4), Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (7), Ford 150 Series Pickup (11), Dodge Caravan (13), Chevrolet Blazer (14), Toyota Pickup 18), Plymouth Voyager (22), Ford Ranger (26), Ford Explorer (28), Chevrolet S-10 Pickup (29), Ford Econoline (32), Dodge Ram Pickup (35), Chevrolet Full Sized Van (40), GMC Full Sized Pickup (43) and the Chevrolet Astro Mini-van (44).

“The study confirms the growing popularity of pickups, mini-vans and SUVs on a national basis among thieves,” said Robert M. Bryant, president and chief executive officer, National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Vehicle thieves follow market trends and target the most popular vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts and illegal export to other countries.” He also pointed out that there are city-by-city differences in consumer vehicle preference that affect which vehicles are targeted by thieves in an individual metropolitan area.

For example, American cars are more attractive to thieves in cities such as Chicago, while pickups are more frequently stolen in Dallas. In the Los Angeles area, thieves target Japanese models. Bryant warned, “People residing in or near port and border communities should take special care to protect their vehicles.” “Motorists driving theft-prone vehicles need to take additional steps such as installing a visible deterrent like a steering wheel lock, an alarm, a starter or fuel disabler and a tracking device,” Bryant said. “The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the more difficult it is to steal.”

Another measure to help motorists protect their vehicle from theft is to permanently etch all glass/windows with the vehicle identification number (VIN). Etching the VIN on the vehicle’s glass not only aids law enforcement and insurance agencies in the recovery and identification of stolen vehicles, it also takes profit away from the professional vehicle thief. “Like any business, vehicle thieves are seeking to make a profit,” said Bryant, “Permanently etching all glass on a vehicle with the VIN, takes profits from these criminals because they must replace the etched glass.”

Hot Wheels Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in 1999 By Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Albuquerque, NM
1. Ford F150 Series Pickup
2. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
3. Jeep Cherokee
4. Honda Accord
5. Oldsmobile Cutlass
6. Toyota Camry
7. Ford Ranger
8. Ford F250 Series Pickup
9. Pontiac Grand Am
10. Chevrolet Blazer

Boston, MA
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Oldsmobile Cutlass
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. Ford Taurus
8. Acura Integra
9. Chevrolet Blazer
10. Nissan Maxima

Chicago, IL
1. Oldsmobile Cutlass
2. Chevrolet Caprice
3. Toyota Camry
4. Oldsmobile Delta 88
5. Chevrolet Cavalier
6. Buick LeSabre
7. Chevrolet Full Size Van
8. Pontiac Grand Am
9. Ford Taurus
10. Buick Century

Columbus, OH

1. Oldsmobile Cutlass
2. Pontiac Grand Am
3. Honda Accord
4. Chevrolet Cavalier
5. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
6. Chevrolet Blazer
7. Chevrolet Astro Minivan
8. Chevrolet Celebrity
9. Cadillac Deville
10. Ford Escort

Dallas, TX
1. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
2. Honda Accord
3. Oldsmobile Cutlass
4. Cadillac Deville
5. Chevrolet Suburban
6. Oldsmobile Delta 88
7. Ford F150 Series Pickup
8. GMC Full Sized Pickup
9. Jeep Cherokee
10. Ford Mustang

Fresno, CA
1. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
2. Honda Accord
3. Oldsmobile Cutlass
4. Toyota Camry
5. Honda Civic
6. Chevrolet Blazer
7. Toyota Pickup
8. Chevrolet Camaro
9. Toyota Corolla
10. Ford Taurus

Jersey City, NJ
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Honda Civic
4. Jeep Cherokee
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Acura Legend
7. Acura Integra
8. Oldsmobile Cutlass
9. Plymouth Voyager
10. Saturn SI

Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
1. Honda Accord
2. Toyota Camry
3. Honda Civic
4. Toyota Pickup
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Nissan Sentra
7. Acura Integra
8. Toyota Van
9. Oldsmobile Cutlass
10. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup

Memphis, TN
1. Oldsmobile Cutlass
2. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
3. Toyota Camry
4. Chevrolet Caprice
5. Oldsmobile Delta 88
6. Cadillac Deville
7. Buick LeSabre
8. Buick Century
9. Oldsmobile Regency
10. Pontiac Bonneville

Miami, FL
1. Honda Accord
2. Toyota Camry
3. Toyota Corolla
4. Honda Civic
5. Nissan Altima
6. Nissan Sentra
7. Chevrolet Caprice
8. Oldsmobile Cutlass
9. Nissan Maxima
10. Dodge Caravan

New York, NY
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Accord
3. Nissan Maxima
4. Honda Civic
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Oldsmobile Cutlass
7. Lincoln Town Car
8. Acura Integra
9. Jeep Cherokee
10. Acura Legend

New Orleans, LA
1. Oldsmobile Cutlass
2. Toyota Camry
3. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
4. Honda Accord
5. Oldsmobile Delta 88
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. Ford F150 Series Pickup
8. Dodge Caravan
9. Ford Taurus
10. Dodge Neon

Philadelphia, PA-NJ
1. Honda Accord
2. Toyota Camry
3. Oldsmobile Cutlass
4. Nissan Maxima
5. Jeep Cherokee
6. Chevrolet Celebrity
7. Chevrolet Cavalier
8. Dodge Caravan
9. Oldsmobile Delta 88
10. Ford Taurus

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
1. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
2. Honda Accord
3. Honda Civic
4. Oldsmobile Cutlass
5. Saturn SI
6. Ford F150 Series Pickup
7. Nissan Sentra
8. Nissan Pickup
9. Toyota Pickup
10. Chevrolet Camaro

Sacramento, CA
1. Toyota Camry
2. Honda Civic
3. Honda Accord
4. Toyota Pickup
5. Acura Integra
6. Toyota Corolla
7. Oldsmobile Cutlass
8. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
9. Toyota Van
10. Ford Mustang

Tucson, AZ
1. Chevrolet Full Size Pickup
2. Oldsmobile Cutlass
3. Nissan Sentra
4. Toyota Pickup
5. Dodge Ram Pickup
6. Jeep Cherokee
7. Nissan Pickup
8. Chevrolet Blazer
9. Chevrolet Camaro
10. GMC Full Sized Pickup

Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV
1. Honda Accord

2. Toyota Camry
3. Dodge Caravan
4. Honda Civic
5. Jeep Cherokee
6. Plymouth Voyager
7. Chevrolet Caprice
8. Toyota Corolla
9. Nissan Maxima
10. Oldsmobile Cutlass Methodology

This study is based on 1.1 million motor vehicles reported stolen to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in 1999 by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

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