December 11, 2002


Camry most stolen vehicle in U.S.A

Palos Hills, Illinois – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a not-for-profit insurance organization committed to combating vehicle theft and insurance fraud, issued a list of the top ten most commonly stolen vehicles in the U.S.A. in 2001. They are:

1. Toyota Camry

2. Honda Accord

3. Honda Civic

4. Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera

5. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

6. Chevrolet Full Size C/K Pickup

7. Toyota Corolla

8. Ford Taurus

9. Chevrolet Caprice

10. Ford F150 Pickup

The NICB, reported that one-third (17) of the top 50 most commonly stolen vehicles in 2001 were sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and mini-vans or vans. The report from NICB follows the recent release of FBI Uniform Crime Reports which found that motor vehicle thefts in 2001 were up 5.7 percent over 2000.

The FBI reported that an estimated 1.2 million vehicle thefts were reported in 2001. The nation’s vehicle theft rate per 100,000 people was up 4.5 percent in 2001, marking the second consecutive year of increases in the auto theft rate following a ten year decline.

“The continued increase in the auto theft rate is a troubling trend,” said Robert M. Bryant, president and chief executive officer, National Insurance Crime Bureau. He attributed the continuing rise to a variety of factors, including a difficult U.S. economy that spurs thieves to steal cars and trucks for financial gain, the reassignment of many law enforcement officers from special auto theft task forces and porous international borders that are difficult to monitor for stolen vehicles.

The average value of motor vehicles stolen in 2001 was $6,646, according to the FBI. The estimated total value of stolen motor vehicles was $8.2 billion. Approximately 62 percent of that amount was recovered. “Vehicle thieves follow market trends and target the most popular vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts and illegal export to other countries,” Bryant pointed out.

He also observed that there are city-by-city differences in consumer vehicle preference that affect which vehicles are targeted by thieves in an individual metropolitan area.

For example, American sedans are more attractive to thieves in Chicago, while pickups are more frequently stolen in Dallas. In the Los Angeles area, thieves prefer Japanese models.

Bryant warned, “People residing in or near port and border communities should take special care to protect their vehicles.”

To help protect their vehicles, the NICB recommends that motorists ALWAYS remove the keys from the ignition and vehicle, lock the doors, close the windows, hide valuable items, park in well-lit areas and use a combination of anti-theft devices.

Another measure to help motorists protect their vehicle from theft is to permanently etch all glass/windows with the vehicle identification number (VIN). Etching the VIN on the vehicle’s glass not only aids law enforcement and insurance agencies in the recovery and identification of stolen vehicles, it also takes profit away from the professional vehicle thief.

“Like any business, vehicle thieves are seeking to make a profit,” said Bryant, “Permanently etching all glass on a vehicle with the VIN, takes profits from these criminals because they must replace the etched glass.”

Lists of the top 100 vehicles stolen countrywide, the top ten vehicles stolen by state and in the 34 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) are available on the NICB web site, www.nicb.org.

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