“Hot” Wheels: Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in the U.S.

© ColourboxAmerica’s Most Wanted — By Car Thieves
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recently released its annual findings on the most stolen cars in America. The “Hot Wheels” report analyzes vehicle theft data submitted to the National Crime Information Center by law enforcement agencies around the country. “Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. In 2020 there were 880,595 car thefts in the U.S. — approximately one vehicle stolen every 36 seconds. What follows are the most stolen cars during calendar year 2020, the percentage increase over 2019, as well as each vehicle’s most commonly stolen model year.

© FCA US10. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
11,991 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 6.2%
Most stolen model year: 2001
Dodge pickups have continued to gain favor with thieves over time. In 2002 Dodge introduced its first redesigned pickup in eight years with bold styling that laid the foundation for what we now see on the road. However, the previous generation — selling around 400,000 units each year — created the pool that truck thieves are dipping into the most today. The current-generation Ram will likely start experiencing increased thefts, since the big truck’s sales are now regularly surpassing 400,000 units per year.

© American Honda Motors9. Honda CR-V
112,309 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 21.9%
Most stolen model year: 2000
Although crossovers currently dominate the U.S. market among new-car shoppers, Honda’s CR-V has the distinction of being the only crossover on the NICB’s list of most stolen cars. Introduced in 1997, the CR-V would eventually become the best-selling model in Honda’s lineup; the fifth-generation CR-V offers a spacious, usable interior and a range of powertrains including a new hybrid. Apparently, car thieves are more interested in the CRV’s earlier versions — the most stolen model year hails from the vehicle’s first generation.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA8. Toyota Corolla
12,515 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 3.1%
Most stolen model year: 2020
The Corolla is a perennial favorite among those who don’t pay for their cars. Toyota claims more than 40 million Corollas have been sold since its introduction in 1966. Sales have steadily increased over the last several years, making Corolla one of the best-selling compact cars in the U.S. The Corolla’s ubiquity means plenty are available for thieves to get their hands on, and it also creates considerable demand for parts.

© General Motors7. GMC Pickup (Full Size)
13,016 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 16.6%
Most stolen model year: 2005
Call it a simple law of averages — the more copies of a vehicle that exist in public, the more likely it will be stolen. The GMC full-size pickup — also known as the Sierra — has experienced impressive sales over the last few years, and that translates into popularity among thieves. Thanks to those high numbers, a plethora of Sierra configurations are available to nefarious individuals, including many choices of body styles, drivetrains, features and variants such as the luxurious Sierra Denali.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience6. Nissan Altima
14,668 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 9.8%
Most stolen model year: 2020
Even as crossovers increase in popularity, the Nissan Altima remains one of only a few passenger cars still holding a place on the U.S. best-sellers list, meaning there is plenty of supply for car thieves. The Altima received major styling updates in 2019 with a look that fits with the rest of the Nissan lineup, as well as new powertrains, advanced safety features and the availability of AWD. Clearly these items are of interest to those who desire an Altima but don’t want to pay for it.

© Toyota Motor Sales USA5. Toyota Camry
16,915 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 8.0%
Most stolen model year: 2019
Commanding the title of best-selling passenger car in America for more than 15 years, the Camry’s roomy interior and fuel-efficient, reliable engines ensure this Toyota sells in huge numbers annually. Toyota introduced the eighth-generation Camry a few years ago, giving the popular sedan a more engaging appearance with a more comfortable interior and a range of fuel-efficient, powerful engines.

© American Honda Motors4. Honda Accord
30,814 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 0.2%
Most stolen model year: 1997
After years sitting atop this list of most stolen cars in the United States, the Honda Accord is no longer the darling model among thieves. However, the numbers remain quite high — a direct result of Accord’s popularity with drivers everywhere as economical, reliable transportation that retains its resale value. And the sheer number of Accords on the road provides thieves with easy choices and access. Honda introduced smartkeys for Accord in 1998, so most of the stolen models come from years prior. Since the inception of smartkeys, the number of Accords stolen each year has dropped considerably.

© American Honda Motors3. Honda Civic
34,144 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 2.8%
Most stolen model year: 2000
Although it remains one of the most ubiquitous compact cars in America, the Civic is no longer the most popular target among U.S. car thieves. The model started its life as a subcompact and has grown in size over the years; however, it’s those original, smaller models that remain big targets among car boosters. Most purloined Civics are from model years 2000 and prior, before smartkeys became prevalent. This underscores the effectiveness of modern keys, since Civic has kept pace as one of the best-selling cars in America.

© General Motors2. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
40,968 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 25.7%
Most stolen model year: 2004
The full-size Chevy Silverado is another popular choice among truck-jackers. Although the 2004 model year seems to be the most sought after, Silverado was basically unchanged from 2003 to 2007 and thus the number of stolen Chevy trucks has remained consistent for those model years. Available with a variety of engines and configurations, Silverado sales have been on the rise, which has resulted in increased thefts year over year.

© Ford Motor Company1. Ford Pickup (Full Size)
44,014 stolen in 2020
Increase over 2019: 13.0%
Most stolen model year: 2006
Not only are Ford F-Series trucks the best-selling vehicles in America, for the second year in a row they are the most popular in the nation among car thieves. With so many Ford trucks on the road — the company commonly sells more than 700,000 per year — it’s of no surprise to see the F-Series consistently near the top of the most stolen cars list year after year. In 2005 Ford sold more than 900,000 full-size pickups, creating a plethora of new models to pilfer in 2006.

© General MotorsTheft Prevention
To prevent auto theft, the NICB recommends four layers of protection: warning devices, including visible and audible alarms; immobilizing devices to prevent thieves from circumventing the ignition to hotwire the car; tracking devices and remote monitoring; and finally, common sense. Vehicle owners should always remove keys from the vehicle and keep all doors and windows locked, as well as park in well-lighted areas.

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