So the annual list of the 10 most stolen vehicles compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) came out today and once again, pickup trucks made by the “Detroit Three” rank high on the list.
But not just any pickup truck models, mind you; older model pickups, ones 10 years or older to be exact, are the ones vehicle thieves focused on in 2015.
On top of that, the NICB determined another worrisome trend: the ability by thieves to “defeat” anti-theft technology. While such systems weren’t available for most of the older model pickups being pinched, late-model cars equipped with anti-theft technology seem to be getting stolen just as easily.
“While older vehicles still dominate our ‘Hot Wheels’ most stolen list, the number of late model vehicles with anti-theft protection on the list goes to show that technology isn’t foolproof,” noted Joe Wehrle, NICB’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“Criminals are doing their best to defeat anti-theft technology through hacking and other means while, at the same time, manufacturers and others are working to improve security,” he explained. “But far too often, drivers leave their vehicles unlocked or with the keys inside, making it way too easy for an opportunistic thief.”
Wehrle also noted something else: that many stolen vehicles are not reported as “typical thefts” to police because many of today’s thefts are financial crimes involving complicated vehicle identification number [VIN] switching, cloning, straw buyers, illegal exports and other “sophisticated” criminal methods – very different from historical trends.
That aside, here’s the list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. for 2015:
- 1996 Honda Accord (52,244 units stolen)
- 1998 Honda Civic (49,430)
- 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size) (29,396)
- 2004 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,771)
- 2014 Toyota Camry (15,466)
- 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,212)
- 2014 Toyota Corolla (10,547)
- 2015 Nissan Altima (10,374)
- 2002 Dodge Caravan (9,798)
- 2008 Chevrolet Impala (9,225)
As an addendum, here’s the top 10 list of the 2015-model year vehicles stolen last year – and you’ll notice a “high end” pickup truck, the GMC Sierra, ranked at number five:
- Nissan Altima (1,104 units stolen)
- Chrysler 200 (1,069)
- Toyota Camry (923)
- Toyota Corolla (776)
- GMC Sierra (670)
- Dodge Charger (666)
- Hyundai Sonata (632)
- Chevrolet Malibu (629)
- Chevrolet Impala (594)
- Chevrolet Cruze (586)
That is why NICB continues to advise vehicle owns (fleets included) to use four “layers of protection” to prevent vehicle theft:
- Common Sense: Lock your vehicle and take your keys. It’s simple enough, but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their rides.
- Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your vehicle remains where you left it.
- Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, if your vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be stolen. “Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices that are extremely effective.
- Tracking Device: A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ telematics (something truck fleets are very familiar with) which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.
Worthy advice to keep in mind as pickup trucks remain highly-sought prizes coveted by vehicle thieves.