The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual "Hot Wheels" report this week, which identifies the ten most stolen vehicles in the United States, and state by state. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2016.
The NICB says Honda Accords and Civics dominate the annual list, but they are older, pre-"smart key" production models. Since the introduction of smart keys and other anti-theft technology, Honda thefts have fallen.
According to the report, the technology is working, but complacency can defeat it. While thefts are down dramatically since their all-time high in 1992, thousands of vehicles continue to be stolen each year because owners leave their keys or fobs in the vehicles and that invites thefts.
In Washington, the 1997 Honda Accord topped the list in 2016 with 4,480 reported thefts. The 1998 Honda Civic came in second with 3,965 reported thefts.
“The increase in vehicle thefts over the past two years should be a reminder that drivers must do their part to protect their vehicles,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Anti-theft systems in newer model cars and trucks are excellent, but they don’t work if you don’t use them. Far too many thefts occur because the vehicle is left unlocked and the key or fob is inside. Taking the time to lock it up every time you leave it can save a whole lot of headache and expense in the long run.”
Vehicle theft is a severe economic hardship for its victims—especially if a vehicle is uninsured. That is why NICB continues to advise all drivers to review our four “Layers of Protection”:
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.