The Facts on Car Theft

The Facts

The FBI reports there were an estimated 699,594 motor vehicle thefts nationwide in 2013. In 2012, a small increase in vehicle thefts ended a consecutive eight-year run of decreasing thefts. Source

Industry observers caution that thieves constantly devise new and sophisticated means of stealing autos. Tactics include acquiring smart keys, which eliminated hot-wiring to steal cars; switching vehicle identification numbers; and using stolen identities to secure loans for expensive vehicles.

According to the FBI, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 44 seconds.


The Most Popular Vehicles Stolen

RankMake & ModelTotal Stolen in U.S.
1Honda Accord53,995
2Honda Civic45,001
3Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)27,809
4Ford Pickup (Full Size)26,494
5Toyota Camry14,420
6Dodge Pickup (Full Size)11,347
7Dodge Caravan10,911
8Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee9,272
9Toyota Corolla9,010
10Nissan Altima8,892


The Types of Locations at Highest Risk

Living in urban and higher crime areas has an impact on your risk of being a victim of auto theft. Port and border cities continue to be boomtowns for the auto theft business. Of the top 25 metro areas in the nation for vehicle theft, nearly half are ports or communities with easy access to borders (*National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB). The NICB study compares the auto theft rates per 100,000 population in 380 metro areas.

City-by-city differences in auto buying habits are reflected in the preferences of auto thieves. For example, American vehicles tend to be the auto thief’s vehicles of choice in Detroit and Chicago; pickups are popular in Albuquerque, Phoenix and Houston; and Japanese models lead the most commonly stolen list in Los Angeles.


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