Every year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) compiles a list of the most frequently stolen cars in the United States. Year after year, the list is surprising to those who are not familiar with car theft. I will count down the top 10 in just a moment, but I like to point out a couple of interesting observations before I start.
First, late-model cars do not tend to be stolen as frequently as older cars, and this for a variety of reasons. They are easy to come by, replacement parts are readily available, and anti-theft devices (including keypad access) take longer to breach.
Second, older cars may be stolen even if they look like moving wrecks. To understand why this is the case, just read through my top 10 list. You will understand by the time you are done. With that said, here is the list of the top 10 stolen cars in the USA:
10. Nissan Sentra (1994) – The 1994 Sentra was the last of the third-generation of this line. It was also the first to feature Nissan’s now famous SR20DE engine that made it the fastest subcompact of its day. The car sold very well in Mexico, the Philippines, and other markets.
9. Ford Explorer (2002) – The Ford Explorer was completely redesigned for the 2002 model year. As the first in the third-generation of Explorers, the biggest difference with the 2002 was the introduction of independent suspension.
8. Dodge Ram Pickup (2004) – As part of the third-generation of Dodge Ram pickups, the 2004 models sold very well in the retail market. The third-generation face-lift made the truck look more rugged and durable, so thieves who steal these vehicles are looking for grills, headlights, and rims.
7. Chevy Silverado Pickup (1999) – Silverado was the name given to Chevy’s full-size pickups bearing a specific trim package from 1975 through 1999. Without that trim package, they were simply designated with letters and numbers. In either case, they have been among the best-selling pickup trucks of all time.
6. Acura Integra (1994) – Believe it or not, the Acura Integra is actually just a Honda with a different name. The company made the car from 1985 through 2006 in Japan. It is not uncommon to still see these cars on the road today.
5. Dodge Caravan (2000) – In 1994 Chrysler introduced a brand-new vehicle to the market: the minivan. The 2000 Caravan was the last in the third series and sported a brand-new look and a beefed-up, six-cylinder EGH engine.
4. Toyota Camry (1991) – The Camry is probably Toyota’s most defining vehicle to date. It put the company on the map when it was first introduced in 1982. The 1991 model was the first in the second series and introduced a wider body and sleeker look.
3. Ford Pickup – Full-Size (2006) – Ford has always been a good competitor when it comes to full-size pickups. Their F-series is constantly doing battle with Chevy for market dominance.
2. Honda Civic (1998) – The Civic is easily Honda’s best-selling car in North America. It been continually produced since 1972 and is now in its ninth generation. The 1998 model was part of the sixth generation and was primarily focused on sleeker looks and an upgraded suspension.
1. Honda Accord (1994) – Honda began production of the accord in 1976. Since its introduction, it has been one of the best-selling vehicles in North America. The car made history in 1982 as the first Japanese product made on American soil.
So, have you figured out what most of these cars have in common? D you know why they continue to be among the most stolen cars in the United States?
The two things most of them have in common are their ages and the fact you still see so many of them on the road both in the U.S. and in Mexico. They are appealing to thieves because owners need replacement parts yet aftermarket parts are no longer manufactured in large quantities. When thieves steal these cars, they do not intend to sell them whole. They strip them down and sell the parts on the black market.
Even if the body of one of these cars looks a little rough, it would still have value to a thief as long as things like the taillights, wheels, and interior components were still in good condition. Those things are hard to find at auto parts stores and junk yards.
Image Citation: wikipedia.org