NICB Says Auto Theft Down for 2018, Lists Most-stolen Models

nicb says auto theft down for 2018 lists most stolen models

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual Hot Wheels report this month. The good news is that auto thefts declined in 2018, according to the FBI.

The bad news? NICB is still doing a running tally of all the rides ripped away from their owners, putting the 2000 model-year Honda Civic on top. It was followed closely by the 1997 Honda Accord. Fortunately, the NICB also kept track of the 2018 model year specifically, proving that the nation’s most-stolen automobiles continue to be the ones that sell the best.

With overall thefts dropping by 3 percent in 2018, resuming the downward trend we’ve become accustomed to, those old Hondas could retain their title for years until society finally breaks down. In fact, their inclusion helps to illustrate just how little car crime there is now vs 20 years ago. Both the vintage Accord and Civic models peaked with over 5,000 reported thefts for a single model year. For MY2018, the leader was “GMC Pickup (Full Size)” — a category that includes every Sierra variant General Motors manufactures. But only 1,170 units were swiped last year.

As car thefts are typically crimes of opportunity, the rest of the 2018 list is about what you’d expect. These are all popular models you wouldn’t be surprised to see parked outside of a garage:

GMC Pickup (Full Size) — 1,170 Stolen


Ford Pickup (Full Size) — 1,017 Stolen


Toyota Camry — 976 Stolen


Nissan Altima — 912 Stolen


Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) — 790 Stolen


Hyundai Elantra — 775 Stolen


Ford Transit — 723 Stolen


Dodge Charger — 719 Stolen


Toyota Corolla — 699 Stolen


Chevrolet Malibu — 698 Stolen

There’s plenty of overlap with the Highway Loss Data Institute’s more-focused list of stolen vehicles from earlier this year, with a few notable differences. There aren’t any models from premium brands in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s tally, and the list also includes the Ford Transit, a model we highly recommend for thieves. It’s great for fast loading, whether you’re wrapping up a home invasion or pulling an all-nighter at a warehouse you’ve broken into. Yet also makes a decent work vehicle, if you ever decide to go straight.

The NICB makes some generic recommendations on how to keep your vehicle safer that are mostly worth heeding. As with home defense, it suggests “layers of protection.” You basically want to make your car as unappetizing to thieves as possible while continuing to add minor annoyances. If nabbing your ride takes longer or makes more noise than the vehicle next to you, odds are good it’ll be the one taken by lawbreakers.

VIN etching and immobilizers probably aren’t something everyone needs, especially if parking in a well lit area with the doors locked keeps the car from being stolen in the first place. But they’re on the NICB’s list of safety recommendations, if you’re interested, and worth consideration if you’re concerned with the security of your particular parking locale.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Nov 26, 2019

    Thankful that my old Legend is now getting so old that the demand for parts is less. For a while Hondas of its vintage were almost guaranteed to be stolen eventually. It spends most of its time in a garage, but does end up at a park-and-ride all day once in a while.

  • Land Ark Land Ark on Nov 27, 2019

    My old car used to lock itself after a few seconds which was a great feature - you had to turn the feature on so if you didn't want it to, it wouldn't. My new car doesn't have the option and at least once I forgot to lock it in the street in front of my house because I got so accustomed to not having to think about it. I realized the next morning that it wasn't locked and then noticed my prescription sunglasses were gone. I can't even be mad at the thief, if I had managed to remember to lock the car no one would have gotten in. I now have the car's app turned on all the time because it reminds me the doors are unlocked, which is kind of annoying when I am washing it or working on it, but I just can't be trusted to remember.

  • Dennis Howerton Nice article, Cory. Makes me wish I had bought Festivas when they were being produced. Kia made them until the line was discontinued, but Kia evidently used some of the technology to make the Rio. Pictures of the interior look a lot like my Rio's interior, and the 1.5 liter engine is from Mazda while Ford made the automatic transmission in the used 2002 Rio I've been driving since 2006. I might add the Rio is also an excellent subcompact people mover.
  • Sgeffe Bronco looks with JLR “reliability!”What’s not to like?!
  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
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