The Most Stolen Car In Washington Is... - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Most Stolen Car In Washington Is...

SEATTLE, Wash. - The vehicle thieves target most often in Washington is the 1991 Honda Accord, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's (NICB) annual Hot Wheels Report for 2010, released today.

The 2010 Top 10 most stolen list for Washington includes vehicle years ranging from 1991 to 1997. According to NICB, certain models of older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of the value of their parts, plus they are easier to steal.   Newer vehicles often have more sophisticated alarms and anti-theft systems. Newer and more expensive vehicles often are stolen to be resold intact or shipped overseas.

No matter what year the vehicle, auto theft is a costly crime vehicle owners pay for through their insurance premiums.  "Consumers pay billions each year for auto theft," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "The cost to replace stolen vehicles and repair those that are recovered is reflected in your insurance rates. That makes auto theft an important issue for every vehicle owner."

Washington continues to be a hotbed for car thieves despite preliminary 2010 FBI statistics that show an overall national decline in auto theft.  NICB statistics show Spokane ranked fourth-highest in the nation for auto theft rates in 2010, up from number 18 in 2009.  The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area jumped to 13th from 37th and leads the state with more than 55 percent of all auto thefts, increasing 18.8 percent since 2008. 

The good news is vehicle owners who include optional Comprehensive Coverage in their Auto Insurance policies are covered if their vehicles are stolen.

Here is a list of Washington's most stolen vehicles, according to NICB's 2010 statistics:

1.     1991 Honda Accord

2.     1995 Honda Civic

3.     1995 Acura Integra

4.     1990 Toyota Camry

5.     1993 Subaru Legacy

6.     1994 Nissan Sentra

7.     1992 Honda Prelude

8.     1994 Saturn SL

9.     1993 Toyota Corolla

10.  1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup

NW Insurance Council and NICB offer the following tips to help you reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen:

  • Keep your doors locked and windows completely rolled up.
  • Remove keys from the ignition, even when briefly stepping away from your car.
  • Keep valuable items such as bags, purses, cell phones and briefcases out of sight.
  • Always park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
  • Always activate your vehicle's security or alarm system when parked. 
  • Before buying a new vehicle, check with your insurance company to find out which vehicles have the highest risk of being stolen.
  • NICB also recommends four layers of protection for auto theft: Common Sense, Warning Devices, Immobilizing Devices and Tracking Devices.

If you witness or have knowledge of an auto theft, contact your local law enforcement agency.  Auto theft is a form of insurance fraud when automobile owners arrange to have their vehicles stolen with hopes of collecting the insurance money. 

If you know of anyone who has filed a false insurance claim, you may be eligible for a fraud award up to $5,000 offered by NW Insurance Council.  Call the Fraud Hotline at 800-TEL-NICB.  For more information about the Hot Wheels Report and insurance fraud, call (800) 664-4942 or visit NW Insurance Council.

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