Speaking of Vehicle Thefts . . . Who Doesn't Love Federal Reports?

Jeff Puthuff
by Jeff Puthuff

Our fine government is a model of efficiency. Why just a week ago, the statistics for year 2007 vehicle thefts were published in the June 10, 2009, Federal Register. I’d hate to think how long these stats would have taken to compile without the advantage of computerization. I digress. Let’s take a look at the data.

According to the publication,

This document reports data about passenger motor vehicle thefts that occurred in calendar year (CY) 2007 including theft rates for existing passenger motor vehicle lines manufactured in model year (MY) 2007. The preliminary theft data indicate that the vehicle theft rate for CY/MY 2007 vehicles (1.86 thefts per thousand vehicles) decreased by 10.6 percent from the theft rate for CY/MY 2006 vehicles (2.08 thefts per thousand vehicles).

Publication of these data fulfills NHTSA’s statutory obligation to periodically obtain accurate and timely theft data, and publish the information for review and comment.

Define timely.

The 2007 theft rate for each vehicle line was calculated by dividing the number of reported thefts of MY 2007 vehicles of that line stolen during calendar year 2007 by the total number of vehicles in that line manufactured for MY 2007, as reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. As in all previous reports, NHTSA’s data were based on information provided to NHTSA by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The NCIC is a government system that receives vehicle theft information from approximately 23,000 criminal justice agencies and other law enforcement authorities throughout the United States. The NCIC data also include reported thefts of self-insured and uninsured vehicles, not all of which are reported to other data sources.

The good news is that in 2007 motor vehicle thefts were down from 2006’s numbers. Also good: of the most stolen vehicles, none are classified as light trucks. Shockingly, the most stolen vehicle in 2007 was a wagon! Dodge’s now-defunct Magnum had a theft rate of 12.2599 per 1,000 Magnums. The Dodge Charger “earned” second place with 9.5162 thefts per 1,000 Chargers. Of the ten most stolen vehicles, the domestics accounted for seven and Chrysler is the big winner with four of those. Shockingly, incredibly, dumbfoundingly, the Sebring was number ten with 4.3301 vehicles stolen per 1,000 Sebrings.

Enough about Chrysler. Rolls-Royce was in the top ten, too. Fancy a Phantom? Of the 398 produced for the US, 2 were stolen for a theft rate of 5.0251. Two GM vehicles in the top ten were the Monte Carlo (???) and the Grand Prix, with theft rates of 8.0225 and 6.8736, respectively.

You have to look all the way down to #44 to find a Toyota: the lowly Corolla. It clocks in at 2.1058 thefts per thousand Corollas.

All you Bentley, Ferrari 141/612/430, Lamborghini, Spyker, Jaguar XJ8/L/R, Aston Martin DB9, Maserati, Volvo V70, and SAAB 9-5 owners will be pleased to know that your cars were either so undesirable or too difficult for thieves to steal that your vehicle’s theft rates were 0.00.

Jeff Puthuff
Jeff Puthuff

Early 30s California guy driving a 97 Infiniti I30. Past cars: 90 Cavalier, 82 Skylark, 78 Courier, 61 Beetle.

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  • JMII JMII on Jun 17, 2009

    So this is number of thefts in 2007 of cars built in 2007? If so that explains why the Acura Integra is not on the list... its always near the top of any list I've seen published. 3 words: Civic Engine Swap.

  • IronEagle IronEagle on Jun 17, 2009

    How could this could happen on new Chryslers? They almost all have fuel shut off anti-start without the key now. At least most of the RAms and Chargers/300s do.

  • Calrson Fan Jeff - Agree with what you said. I think currently an EV pick-up could work in a commercial/fleet application. As someone on this site stated, w/current tech. battery vehicles just do not scale well. EBFlex - No one wanted to hate the Cyber Truck more than me but I can't ignore all the new technology and innovative thinking that went into it. There is a lot I like about it. GM, Ford & Ram should incorporate some it's design cues into their ICE trucks.
  • Michael S6 Very confusing if the move is permanent or temporary.
  • Jrhurren Worked in Detroit 18 years, live 20 minutes away. Ren Cen is a gem, but a very terrible design inside. I’m surprised GM stuck it out as long as they did there.
  • Carson D I thought that this was going to be a comparison of BFGoodrich's different truck tires.
  • Tassos Jong-iL North Korea is saving pokemon cards and amibos to buy GM in 10 years, we hope.