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The most stolen cars in America and how to avoid being a victim of car theft

The most stolen cars in America and how to avoid being a victim of car theft

Auto thefts are a growing problem in the United States. As vehicle value and parts costs rise, thieves are increasingly incentivized to steal and resell or distribute popular models. The National Insurance Crime Bureau has its annual Hot Wheels theft report for 2021, and the most popular stolen vehicles will not surprise anyone.

Most stolen cars of 2021:

  1. Chevrolet pickup (full size): 48,206 total thefts
  2. Ford Pickup (Full Size): 47,999 Total Thefts
  3. Honda Civic: 31,673 total thefts
  4. Honda Accord: 30,274 total thefts
  5. Toyota Camry: 17,270 total thefts
  6. GMC Pickup (Full Size): 15,599 Total Thefts
  7. Nissan Altima: 14,108 total thefts
  8. Honda CR-V: 13,308 total thefts
  9. Jeep Cherokee / Grand Cherokee: 13,210 thefts
  10. Toyota Corolla: 12,927 total thefts

Big trucks from Chevrolet and Ford top the list, as they are in 2020, and are joined by a who’s-who of popular sedans, trucks and SUVs. Many of the vehicles on the list are from the early 2000s, which matches law enforcement statistics. The Sacramento Bee recently interviewed members of the California Highway Patrol, who noted that older vehicles with off-the-shelf ignition systems are preferred because of the ease with which a thief can start them. Compare the list of cars from the early 2000s to the most popular models on the road, and it’s easy to see why the 2004 and 2006 Chevy and Ford pickup trucks were the most stolen vehicles nationally in 2001.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau research supports that theory, stating that a vehicle’s popularity and relative availability on the street contribute to its being stolen. The numbers are staggering, with the two full-size pickup trucks reaching nearly 50,000 thefts in 2021. The Honda Civic came in third with just over 30,000 thefts, and the Toyota Camry rounded out the top five with about 17,000.

Read more: How to Replace a Lost or Stolen Car Title?

Another major cause of the problem may be the ongoing supply chain shortages that have made new and used vehicles more expensive. Inventory shortages and continued high demand have made all used vehicles more expensive, so it’s tempting for thieves to steal cars and trucks and export them for dismantling in other countries. They can also be broken down for parts, which are getting more and more expensive.

That said, what can you do to prevent your car from being stolen? The good news is that even if you drive one of the popular stolen cars on the list, you can take measures to make your car less attractive to thieves.

How to avoid being a victim of car theft

Keep the car locked

It may seem obvious, but locking your doors is one of the best ways to protect your car. The extra time it takes for a thief to get past a locked door can motivate him to look at another target. Sure, they can break your window and get to work, but closed doors are an added deterrent that can make all the difference.

Clean your car

Do not leave valuables or other objects in plain sight in your car. If thieves see money, a wallet or something similar, it tells them that the car is probably worth breaking into. While a car thief may be looking for more than loose change and old CDs, it’s best not to motivate them unnecessarily.

Park in a safe place

It’s not always possible to park in a well-lit, secure car park, but where you leave your car can make all the difference. If you can’t find a well-lit spot in a garage or lot, street parking under a light or in a busy area is a good choice. The idea is to make your car as unattractive as possible so that lights and people can be important deterrents to theft.

Use technology

Car alarms are great, but thieves have sometimes figured out how to disable or disable them. A vehicle tracking system and immobilizer are a great way to keep your car from disappearing. There are several inexpensive systems on the market, many of which offer useful smartphone apps.