NICB’s Hot Wheels—Vehicle Thefts Post Sixth Consecutive Yearly Decline
17.1 Percent Drop is Largest Annual Decline in Decades
DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 20, 2010 – Hot Wheels 2010, the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s companion study to its popular Hot Spots auto theft report, examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2009.
See the full report at www.nicb.org.
For 2009, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were:
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1991 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
5. 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
6. 2000 Dodge Caravan
7. 1994 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
8. 1994 Acura Integra
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 2009 Toyota Corolla
Hot Wheels is the only report that examines all theft data without regard to a vehicle’s insured status. Other reports focus on insured losses and those results offer an incomplete view of the vehicle theft landscape. For example, certain models of older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts—but many are not insured against theft. Whereas newer, more expensive and insured vehicles are often stolen to be resold intact with counterfeit vehicle identification numbers or shipped out of the country.
The FBI’s just-released 2009 Uniform Crime Report shows that vehicle theft is once again down significantly from the previous year making 2009 the sixth consecutive year of reduced vehicle thefts. In 2008, 956,846 vehicles were reported stolen—the lowest annual total in over 20 years. For 2009 the number is even lower—794,616.
“Through the end of August this year there were 97,655 vehicles that were listed as stolen and not yet recovered,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO. “Of that number, only 38 percent had some kind of insurance coverage. So there are a lot of vehicles out there that are being stolen and the owner is left holding the bag with no car and no money to buy another one.
“As our Hot Wheels report shows, many of these thefts end up in chop shops where they are turned into replacement parts.”
Even though the continuing decline in vehicle thefts is great news, if it happens to you it can be financially devastating and just an all-around hassle. That’s why, as part of its Hot Wheels and Hot Spots campaigns each year, NICB urges motorists to follow its “layered approach” to auto theft prevention. By employing these simple, low-cost suggestions people can make their vehicles less attractive to thieves.
NICB’s four layers of protection are:
Common Sense: Lock your car and take your keys. It’s simple enough but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars.
Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car 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 which are extremely effective.
Tracking Device: A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ “telematics” 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.
The NICB has a partnership program in place so you can receive a discount on proven theft prevention and recovery products. Go to www.nicb.org for more information.
Considering a used vehicle purchase? Don’t buy a headache. Since 2005, NICB has offered VINCheckSM, a free vehicle history service for consumers. Check it out at: www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck/vincheck.
Anyone with information concerning vehicle theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or by visiting our Web site at www.nicb.org.
About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by nearly 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $319 billion in insurance premiums in 2009, or more than 78 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($151 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.
* This report reflects stolen vehicle data reported to NCIC in 2009. No further filtering of information is conducted, i.e., determining the total number of a particular make and model currently registered in the U.S. for comparison purposes.