If you drive a 1996 Honda Accord, it's probably a good idea to run out and check that it's still where you parked it. Of all the approximately 700,000 vehicles stolen in the U.S. in 2013 (according to preliminary FBI estimates) the Honda Accord was the most stolen on the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) list. The NICB also published a list of the most stolen vehicles from the 2013 model year, and the results are below.
Car thefts overall declined last year, with FBI predictions putting the number of stolen vehicles in 2013 at under 700,000 for the first time since 1967, but that didn't stop thieves from violating 53,995 Honda Accords—the most of any one model. Of those stolen Honda Accord vehicles, 8166 were from the 1996 model year, with the number of stolen Accords decreasing with each previous model year, down to 3000 "borrowed" 1990 Honda Accords. Other popular vehicles for car thieves include the Honda Civic, of which 45,001 were pilfered in 2013. Running down the rest of top ten vehicles stolen last, we can see that the full-size Chevrolet pickup, Ford pickup, Toyota Camry, Dodge pickup, Dodge Caravan, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, Toyota Corolla, and Nissan Altima were easy pickings for scofflaws.
Of course, part of the reason vehicles like the Honda Accord and Honda Civic are so likely to be stolen has to do with how many are on the road. Even if an Acura Integra R or Mitsubishi Evo is more attractive to a wanna-be Fast and the Furious car thief, there are simply more Accord and Civic vehicles parked across the nation, meaning they are far more often stolen. The more examples of a car were sold, the more of them can be stolen.
Perhaps more digestible is the NICB's list of the most stolen vehicles from the 2013 model year. Topping the 10-car list is the 2013 Nissan Altima—also a significant top seller—which was stolen 810 times. Other most stolen 2013 vehicles include the Ford Fusion, full-size Ford pickup, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Impala, Hyundai Elantra, Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Cruze, and Ford Focus. Again, these vehicles are more likely to be stolen not purely because of their susceptibility to theft, but largely because of how many there are currently in use on the road.
While fewer-sold luxury vehicles are undoubtedly more expensive and desirable, modern examples are almost across the board equipped with alarm systems and GPS tracking technologies which help locate and recover "liberated" vehicles.
“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,” said NICB CEO Joe Wehrle in a statement.
“Technology is the biggest force against car theft,” NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi told Automobile in a phone interview. “It used to be that only pricier vehicles higher up in the food chain had these anti-theft technologies, but as they become more widespread, it's clearly having an imprint.”