Nobody ever wants to walk outside and find that their vehicle is suddenly missing. Unfortunately, car theft is a daily occurrence, and in many cases, a thief needs very little time at all to commandeer your car.

Like all goods, black market demand for certain vehicles is higher than others. Last summer, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released a list of the 10 most stolen vehicles in 2010. While you might expect Ferraris and Lamborghinis to be the most popular, the most popular vehicles among thieves are high-production, everyday vehicles. Among the 10 most stolen vehicles are the 1997 Ford F-150 pickup and 1991 Toyota Camry. The most stolen vehicle in 2010 was the 1994 Honda Accord.

While this may be startling to the many people who drive these models, car theft as a whole is on the decline. “NICB says that early FBI crime statistics for 2010 indicated a substantial 7.2 percent decrease in stolen vehicles over 2009,” writes Autoblog. “Once verified, that will give 2010 the honor of being the year with the fewest stolen vehicles since 1967.”

While it didn’t make the top 10 list, the Ford Mustang has been a popular target among thieves over the years. The NICB recently released a special report about Mustang theft, and interestingly, the most popular pony is not a rare Shelby Mustang from the late ‘60s, but rather the model year 2000 Mustang. According to the NICB, nearly 8.5 million Mustangs have been sold to date, and there are more than 600,000 recorded Mustang thefts.

With Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day coming up, remember that car thieves don’t take holidays off. The NICB reports that in 2010, about 21,000 vehicles were stolen on 11 common holidays. While new technology, like car keys with embedded computer chips, can prevent theft, and GPS systems like On Star can help locate a stolen vehicle, it is still important to be vigilant. Be sure to keep valuables out of site, keep your doors locked and windows closed and park your car in well-lit, high-visibility areas.

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