Will Your Car Get Stolen?

Posted: April 14, 2011

Hondas are popular because they’re affordable, reliable and fuel efficient. Turns out they’re popular among thieves, too. LoJack, a company that installs Vehicle Recovery Systems to track stolen cars, released its annual Vehicle Theft Recovery Report Monday, and found that the Honda Accord and Civic are the most stolen and recovered vehicles in the U.S.

“The report gives statistics regarding the most commonly stolen vehicles and also ranks states with the highest rates of car theft,” Automobile Magazine explains. “The report was put together using LoJack’s data from 2010, when the company helped police recover 10,649 vehicles. Just like in years past, imports dominated the top 10 most stolen cars.” LoJack’s data is based on theft statistics and vehicle recoveries it documented in 28 states from January to December 2010. Keep in mind that these figures apply to LoJack-equipped vehicles that that were reported stolen, and can’t necessarily be used to make assumptions about auto thefts as a whole. But, these statistics do give some insight into the prevalence of vehicle theft in America.

Of the LoJack-equipped cars that were stolen and recovered, imports dominate. Only accounting for make and model, the Honda Accord is the most stolen and recovered vehicle in the U.S, up from its number two spot in 2009. The Honda Civic is the second most stolen and recovered vehicle. It was number one in 2009. The Toyota Camry is third, followed by the Acura Integra. The Cadillac Escalade, number five, the Dodge Ram Pickup, number seven, and the Chevrolet Tahoe, number 10, are the only domestics to make the list.

LoJack also ranked the most stolen and recovered vehicles from the 2000 model year or older. Hondas occupy the top five spots, with the 2000 Honda Civic leading the pack. The next four are Accords from the 1997 to 1995 model years.

Because stolen cars are usually stripped for parts, Kicking Tires explains, “Vehicles like the Acura Integra and Civic have been susceptible to theft for some time now. Both models are popular with street racers and car remodeling enthusiasts. Some models of the Integra and Civic have easily swappable engines; for instance, you can place the more powerful Integra powertrain into a more lightweight Civic.”

Thieves are also targeting newer vehicles like the 2007 and 2009 Toyota Camry, which ranked numbers one and two for stolen and recovered vehicles that are less than five years old. The 2006 Chevrolet Silverado, the 2007 Cadillac Escalade and the 2006 Ford F-250 Series follow.

Lo-Jack says that last year, 90 percent of the vehicles that had a Lo-Jack system and were reported stolen were recovered. This system is pricey, and starts at about $700. That’s less than what it might cost to replace your car (assuming insurance didn’t cover your loss), but $700 can be a lot to pay at once. In that case, there are other things you can do to protect your vehicle. The Arizona Automobile Theft Authority says that locking your vehicle isn’t enough. You need layers of protection. Start by using common sense practices. Never leave your keys in the car. Always shut off the engine, even if you plan to dash in and out of the store in five minutes. You can also make your car a hard target by investing in theft prevention devices like steering wheel locks, floorboard locks or an alarm. These resources are less expensive than the system Lo-Jack offers.

Don’t let this data scare you out of purchasing a Honda Civic. Honda sells hundreds of thousands of vehicles to Americans each year, so it makes sense that they’d top this list.

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