Auto thefts are on the rise for a second year according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau and many owners have only themselves to blame. They’re practically handing thieves the keys by leaving them in their unlocked car.
Here’s the NICB’s list of which cars were the hottest snatches for crooks for 2016. Tips for how to avoid being the next victim of auto theft are also below.
The top two “Hot Wheels” stolen last year are both older generation model year Hondas – ones without today’s anti-theft technology. The Accord comes in first with 50,427 and the Civic second with 49,547 stolen, most of those from the late 1990 model years. That’s 100,000 really cranky people out of a ride.
Ford and Chevy full-size pickups along with the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Dodge full-size pickup, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Impala, and Jeep Grand Cherokee/Cherokee make up the remaining 58 percent of the top ten stolen vehicle list.
All that adds up to well over 200,000 of the above models stolen last year.
The most stolen 2016 model year car is the Toyota Camry with the Nissan Altima coming in a close second. The remaining top five are the Toyota Corolla, Dodge Charger, and Ford Fusion.
The NICB says owners leaving cars running with their keys inside contributed to 57,000 thefts in 2015.
Don’t be next. Here are the NICB’s tips to avoid car theft:
- 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 that 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.