While most crime numbers are down as we head into the mid-2020s, car thefts are bucking that trend, spiking in major cities by over 20% in 2021. It’s hard to know why more cars are being stolen, but we do know which cars are being stolen. In fact, NICB Hot Wheels Reports can tell you the exact models most often stolen across the U.S., including the car with the dubious distinction of being number one: the Honda Accord.
This mid-size, Japanese-built sedan is popular for its safety, reliability, and fuel economy. The Accord has been the most common car in the U.S. for several years, which raises the question of whether this model is being stolen a lot because it’s an easy or desirable target or simply because it accounts for 3% of all cars on the road.
The Civic is a close sibling of the Accord. Like the Accord, the Civic is a very popular car. Older models don’t contain anti-theft technology, making them an easy target for anyone looking to steal a car. Take precautions if you own a Honda Civic or Accord from the early 2000s or ’90s.
Ford pickups of various models were stolen over 300,000 times over the past decade. Like the Accord, this is partially because there are a lot of them on the road! Older models are often targeted, but as all post-1996 Fords include immobilizer technology, a car thief is unlikely to get far with your pickup if it’s under 27 years old.
Americans love their pickups, and full-size Chevy pickups are the most popular in the U.S. after Fords. That explains the volume of Chevrolet pickup thefts over the last ten years, but it doesn't explain the recent 26% spike in the number of Chevys stolen. It’s no doubt a worrying statistic for Chevrolet owners everywhere.
Toyota Camrys are another reliable and popular midsized sedan with the reputation of running for years. Interestingly, newer models are stolen more often than older models despite improvements in anti-theft technology. This may simply be because the post-2018 redesigned Camrys look a lot cooler and are more likely to catch the eye of a car thief.
Nissan Altimas are yet another mid-priced, midsized Japanese car often targeted by thieves. Newer Altimas have reportedly been stolen using a “keyless theft” technique. Because you can start the Altima with your fob, some thieves capture and transmit the fob’s specific frequency to unlock and start the car.
Toyota Corollas make the top-ten-most-stolen list because they maintain their value well and are known to be reliable. As Corolla thieves are usually looking to sell either the car or its parts, they usually go for newer models. While car theft is often opportunistic—the easier the car is to steal, the more likely it is to be stolen—that’s not the case with Corollas.
Thefts of Honda CR-Vs have risen sharply in the last few years. It’s hard to say whether it’s because there are more on the road or because car thieves worked out that if they’re going to steal an SUV, then taking a compact one may be easier than swiping something full-sized. Either way, Honda CR-V owners should be aware their car has become a target.
Dodge Ram 1500s, 2500s, and 3500s are popular with American drivers and American car thieves. There’s no clear reason Dodges are targeted for theft, but pickups are the most stolen vehicles in 32 states, so it’s sensible to keep your doors locked, store valuables out of sight, and invest in a steering lock if you own one.
To prove the point about pickups, here’s another! GMC Pickups were stolen almost 50,000 times between 2010 and 2020, making them the 10th most stolen vehicle in the USA. Given that full-sized pickups are often driven in rural areas, their owners may not be as careful about security as people in cities. Clearly, they should be.
As you can see from the variety of makes and models stolen, no car model will definitely be targeted by thieves, and no vehicle is totally safe from theft. There are, however, plenty of sensible precautions to avoid car theft, like locking your car, never leaving valuables in view, and parking somewhere secure. If you're vigilant, the chances your car will end up a Hot Wheels Report statistic are pretty low!