The 2017 Nissan Altima was the most frequently stolen vehicle in 2017 with 1,153 thefts nationwide, according to the latest Hot Wheels report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
For every 2017 Nissan Altima stolen, there were six 1998 Honda Civics stolen, which indicates the deterrent power of today's anti-theft technology. Engine immobilisers lowered the overall rate of auto theft by 40% from 1995 to 2008, according to a study in the Economic Journal.
The report also compares apples to apples, noting that Honda Accords and Civics produced prior to anti-theft technology continue to be easy targets for thieves. Specifically, a total of 6,707 1998 Honda Civics were stolen in 2017 compared with just 388 2017 Civics that feature anti-theft technology.
The 2017 Hot Wheels report, which was released on Sept. 18, identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. for all model years as well as for the 2017 model year.
While the Honda Civic topped the all-years list with 45,062 thefts, the Honda Accord took second place with a total of 43,764. Other vehicles ranking among the top five stolen for all model years include 2006 Ford F-Series pickups with 35,105 thefts, 2004 Chevrolet Silverado pickups with 30,058, and 2017 Toyota Camry midsize cars with 17,278.
As in the past, some of the most popular model years thieves continue to target include the 1998 Civic and the 1997 Accord.
As for the most stolen 2017 models, the top 10 list includes six cars, three pickups, and a van. The Altima took the top spot with 1,153 thefts, followed by the Camry with 1,100, and the GMC Sierra pickup with 957 thefts.
In 2017, a vehicle was stolen once every 40 seconds in the U.S. While enhancements in vehicle security and manufacturing making positive inroads, the data shows that there was an 11% increase in vehicle thefts from 2014 to 2016.
The NICB notes that complacency can undermine manufacturer efforts. Thousands of vehicles continue to be stolen each year because owners leave their keys or fobs in the vehicles, and that invites theft.
Read the full report here.