In 2014, approximately 689,527 vehicles were reported stolen in the United States.
Motor vehicle theft accounts for 10 percent of all American crime. Since vehicle theft is a very real problem that far too few owners consider, it’s a good idea to be aware of the risks in your state and take the appropriate measures to protect yourself.
Although vehicle theft has been on the decline since the 1990s, knowing your state’s statistics can help you be further prepared in the event your vehicle is stolen. The image below depicts a timeline (see interactive graph here) of how many vehicles are stolen on average in the United States from 1960 to 2014 (per 100,000 residents and per total thefts):
Despite the fact that vehicle theft is slowly becoming less of a threat, it will always be a possibility. Because of this, vehicle owners should protect themselves as much as possible!
Knowing your state’s statistics for vehicle theft will help oyu make informed decisions, but it’s also a good idea to know the specific types of vehicles that are most likely to be stolen. Check out the image below, which depicts the 10 most commonly stolen vehicles in the U.S.
Is yours on the list (see interactive graph here)?
The data for this study are based on information reported by law enforcement agencies, which is then compiled by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Only personnel approved by the NCIC (generally limited to law enforcement agencies and agents) are allowed to access the entire data set; the public has access to a limited view of the data set.
Recently, NCIC has granted the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) access to specific data, which allows the NCIB to publish an annual “Top 10 Vehicle Make/Model Thefts” study. This study does not include the entire vehicle theft data set, only the top 10 in the country and by state.
The data in this study are unique to their scope according to the following database:
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)‘s data set displays the following information:
- Total reported vehicle thefts in the United States
- Total reported vehicle thefts by state in the United States
- Total estimated vehicle thefts in the United States
- Total estimated vehicle thefts by state in the United States
- Vehicle thefts by vehicle type
- The National Crime Information Center (NCIC)‘s data set displays the following information:
- The top 10 vehicle thefts in the United States
- The top 10 vehicle thefts by state in the United State
- It’s important to note that the figures for each make and model are reflective of the top 10 vehicles by state.
Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles
1. Honda Accord
The Honda Accord series has been manufactured since 1976, making it one of the most popular cars in the United States as well as one of Japan’s best-selling vehicles.
Known as one of the world’s most reliable cars, the Honda Accord line has been featured on the Car and Driver 10 Best a record 30 times. With so many people trusting the Accord, it’s no surprise that auto thieves set their sights on it; 51,290 were reported stolen nationwide in 2014.
2. Honda Civic
Another one of Honda’s most popular series, the Civic sedan, is a mid-size vehicle with various classes. The 2016 models have MSRP values ranging from $18,640 (Civic LX) to $26,500 (Civic Touring).
All the latest Civic classes feature in-line 4-cylinder engines, electric parking brakes with automatic brake hold, Eco Assist, drive-by-wire throttle systems, and more. A total of 43,936 Honda Civics were reported missing in 2014.
3. Ford Pickup (Full-Size)
A classic model that has created lifelong memories for millions and become a staple in American films and television, Ford Pickup is one of the nation’s oldest and beloved trucks.
The first generation of the Ford F-series emerged in 1948 and today features full-size pickups, classic cab trucks, and commercial vehicles.
The standard Ford pickup is a light to medium-duty truck with an MSRP value that ranges from $26,540 (F-150 XL) to $58,885 (F-150 Limited). In 2014, the NICB reported a total of 26,680 stolen Ford pickups.
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full-Size)
Another one of America’s most recognized pickups, the full-size Chevrolet has been around for decades and is a favorite among drivers and auto thieves alike. In 2014, 23,169 were stolen.
Today’s Chevy Silverados feature roll-formed steel bed floors, corner step rear bumpers, and one-of-a-kind cargo beds that make them man’s best friend when it comes to heavy lifting. Chevrolet full-size pickups have a starting MSRP of $20,100.
5. Toyota Camry
With a starting MSRP value of $23, 070, the Toyota Camry is an affordable car that offers drivers a safe, reliable experience. Because the Camry has a fairly low market price, you might not think it’s appealing to a thief.
But 14,605 Camrys were reported stolen in 2014, and it’s the fact that they’re so affordable that makes them more desirable. Thieves can sell their parts for a high profit on the illicit market along with other unexpected items like soap and iPhones.
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6. Dodge Pickup (Full-Size)
Dodge Pickups are hearty trucks that pack a lot of punch at a competitive price (MSRP: $26,145). With class exclusive Rambox cargo management systems, a 3.6L Pentastar engine, and the ability to tow over 10,000 pounds, the
With class exclusive Rambox cargo management systems, a 3.6L Pentastar engine, and the ability to tow over 10,000 pounds, the Dodge pickup is the perfect working vehicle with plenty of room for the entire family.
In 2014, 11,075 Dodge pickups were stolen, most likely for their powerful, expensive parts.
7. Dodge Caravan
For those who need a vehicle that’s as reliable as it is roomy, the Dodge Caravan is an excellent choice.
With over 143 cubic square feet of cargo space, this versatile minivan makes a great family car or fleet vehicle. It has a starting MSRP of $22, 595. In 2014, 10,483 Dodge Caravans were stolen nationwide.
8. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima is a budget-friendly ride that still presents a tangible risk. The 2016 Altima 2.5 is a fuel-efficient sedan boasting a reasonable $22,500 MSRP, 182-horsepower engine, and 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Its classic four-door, 5-passenger layout make it an ideal choice for couples and families. In 2014, 9,109 Altimas were reported stolen.
9. Acura Integra
The Acura Integra was a Honda model that was discontinued in 2006 but is still driven by many today. Because the car is no longer purchasable from a standard dealer and its parts are somewhat outdated, thieves who stole the reported 6,902 in 2014 were able to sell them at a profit.
10. Nissan Maxima
The Nissan Maxima looks like any other sedan, but it has a slightly higher MSRP than others on the market at $33,395.
Described by cardriver.com as a “bargain-priced luxury car,” the latest baseline rendition of the Maxima feature amenities like adaptive cruise control, an automated brake system, and an impressive 3.5-liter V-6 300-horsepower engine.
The best of both budget and luxury, the Maxima is a bit of a splurge, so it’s earlier models are more likely to be targeted. Keep an eye out on that 2006 model on eBay, since 6,586 Maximas were stolen nationwide in 2014 according to the NICB.
States With the Lowest Vehicle Theft Rates per 100,000 residents
|State||Rate per 100,000 residents|
States With the Highest Vehicle Theft Rates per 100,000 residents
|State||Rate per 100,000 residents|
|District of Columbia||574.1|
The Older the Vehicle, the Higher the Risk
You may think that buying a used vehicle puts you at a lower risk for theft, but it turns out that the opposite is true. Older vehicles may be stolen more often because (a) their parts are easier to sell to a chop shop, (b) their anti-theft technology is not as difficult to break, or (c) there are simply more older vehicles on the road. With the price on newer models on the rise, people are more likely to drive their vehicles longer and seek out used ones instead of heading straight to a dealership.
The image of the graph (see interactive graph here) below shows vehicle theft rates by the model’s year, an aggregated view of the “Top Vehicles Stolen” for all of the United States.
In this graph (see interactive graph here), you can note the decline of newer vehicle models being stolen in individual states. Some states, such as Alaska and Texas, do have thieves that tend to target newer vehicles.
What are the top 10 most stolen vehicle in your state?
In the map below (see the interactive map), you can see the number of vehicle thefts in the United States as wel as the 10 top most stolen vehicle type in your state.
Although anti-theft technologies have decreased the number of stolen vehicles in the United States, thousands are still taken every year. Driving an older vehicle doesn’t necessary mean that you’re protected, and research shows that mid-range models are more likely to be stolen than luxury vehicles.
In some cases, your location may play a factor in your personal theft risk. Researching vehicle theft in your state and understanding which models are stolen the most is important when you’re shopping for a new vehicle as well as when you’re shopping for vehicle insurance.
Insuring your vehicle with a comprehensive coverage plan can increase your maximum payout and help decrease the financial strain that auto theft creates. Some other tips to prevent vehicle theft include:
- Parking in a garage
- Using a steering wheel or pedal locks
- Installing a car alarm (even on older models)
- Using tracking services like Lo-Jack
- Having the vehicle identification number etched onto the glass and other applicable parts (And always checking the VIN before purchasing a used vehicle)