By on June 17, 2009

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.

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15 Comments on “Speaking of Vehicle Thefts . . . Who Doesn’t Love Federal Reports?...”

  • avatar

    Shockingly, incredibly, dumbfoundingly, the Sebring was number ten with 4.3301 vehicles stolen per 1,000 Sebrings.

    Well, since you don’t usually steal a car to resell you steal it to chop up for parts – what car is more in need of parts than a Chrysler?

  • avatar

    Magnums and Chargers? Not surprised. Yep, them thangs got a hemi…

    Sebring? Insurance jobs by the owner. If not, the thieves ought to be thanked.

  • avatar

    As to timeliness of the data, the IIHS has no data later than ’07 either.

  • avatar

    No surprise to see Saab’s 9-5 with a zero rating. Its theft rating (expectedly) mirrors its “got to have it factor”.

    Sabre GT? Nice.

  • avatar

    Dodge Viper is missing from their list.

  • avatar
    70 Chevelle SS454

    Chryslers are stolen for three reasons:

    1. They are very common in rental fleets, which have obscene theft rates,
    2. The parts are very interchangeable for almost half a dozen years’ worth of all the models, and
    2. They are ludicrously easy to steal, a sixteen year old kid can figure out how to steal one in ten seconds.

  • avatar

    This info should include recovery rates. Zip code info with recovery rates would be epic. See what Police Departments’ priorities are.

    That said, I’d like to see the Porsche theft rate broken down between manuals and slushboxes. And other performance cars…

  • avatar

    Its not so surprising that the cars most often stolen are the ones so ubiquitous in styling that you could easily blend in with everyday traffic. The exotic cars are a lot harder to hide on your average interstate.

  • avatar

    Make that a 12 year old kid can steal a Chrysler product in less than 20 seconds. The reason why I no longer have a Chrysler product.

  • avatar

    Crap, nobody wants what I drive…….

  • avatar
    Toy Maker

    I think 70 Chevelle SS454 is on to something here..

    ” 1. They are very common in rental fleets, which have obscene theft rates,… ”

    In where I live, if you rent a car for the weekend you can pay $15 for a no-penalty insurance in case your car got in an accident or gets stolen. You do not have to repay the rental company anything to replace / fix up the car. AND you can still rent with them again in the future (well, that’s what they say).

    I actually asked him “so if I got into a car accident and only the steering wheel is left, I can just bring the steering wheel to on Monday with no extra fee / penalty whatsoever?”


    And of cousre, all the have in their rentals are chryslers and a couple chevy pickups.

  • avatar

    “…Shockingly, incredibly, dumbfoundingly, the Sebring was number ten…”

    It’s not so shocking, incredible, or dumbfounding at all. Consider what cars buyers have bought that are (1) most regretted, (2) most upsidedown, and (3) least able to sell. Then consider how how easy it is to accidentally drop a spare ignition key next to the car at the mall. If you assume virtually all of the buyers regret, can’t afford, and can’t sell, the marvel is how few of the cars walked away from their owners. Think about the disappointment of thousands of car key losers who return to find their cars still there!

  • avatar

    Here’s where statistics get interesting:

    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.

    Yes but the raw numbers show that 740 Corollas were stolen.

    In contrast, only 715 Chrysler 300’s (ranked #5) were stolen.

    So you could say that more Corollas were stolen than Chrysler 300’s last year and that would be a true statement.

    The difference lies in the number that were sold, of course, but I think you’d have to look at statistics from one area for both cars to draw any meaningful conclusions.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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