The nation’s motor vehicle thieves continue to favor imports over domestic brands as their targets of opportunity, according to the most recent report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
“Hot Wheels,” the companion study to NICB’s annual Hot Spots auto theft report, examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2004.
For 2004, the top ten most stolen vehicles in the United States by make, model, and model year were:
1. 1995 Honda Civic
2. 1989 Toyota Camry
3. 1991 Honda Accord
4. 1994 Dodge Caravan
5. 1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup
6. 1997 Ford F150 Series
7. 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup
8. 1990 Acura Integra
9. 1988 Toyota Pickup
10. 1991 Nissan Sentra
In 2004, 1,237,114 motor vehicles were reported stolen, a decrease of 23,357 vehicles from 2003. Overall in the United States, motor vehicle theft was down by 1.9 percent, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
The report divides the nation into four regions. In the Northeast, with 18.6 percent of the nation’s population, auto theft was down 9.7 percent from 2003. In the Midwest, with 22.4 percent of the population, auto theft was down 4.4 percent. The South with 36.1 percent of the population showed a decrease in vehicle theft of 2.9 percent. Meanwhile, the West, with 23.0 percent of the population, was the only region that posted an increase — 36.2 percent — over its 2003 number.
To discourage theft, NICB recommends locking your car and taking your keys, as well as having and using a visible or audible warning device.
“Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys are among the devices which are high and low tech, but extremely effective.
On the higher end of high tech are the newer devices which can alert you — and law enforcement — the moment an unauthorized user moves your vehicle.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, based in Palos Hills, Ill., is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft for the benefit of its member companies, their policyholders, and the general public through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness. For more information, visit their Web site at http://www.nicb.org/.
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