DES PLAINES, IL – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its “Hot Wheels” vehicle theft report. Although the top vehicles stolen are older (model-years 1994 to 2004), a few details in the report stood out.

First, the report said preliminary 2010 FBI crime statistics indicate a further 7.2 percent drop in 2010 when compared with the number of thefts posted in 2009. The NICB said that if these numbers hold, vehicle thefts will be at their lowest rate since 1967. Second, the report showed an increase in thefts of domestic makes; with foreign makes taking up three slots in the top 10 list (Honda and Toyota had the top three slots).

The NICB stated that improved vehicle technology is one reason for lower theft rates in 2010. For example, in the top slot for the number of vehicles stolen was the Honda Accord. Out ofthe nearly 52,000 Honda Accords stolen in 2010, more than 44,000 of them were built in the 1990s, compared with fewer than 5,700 that were produced since the year 2000.

Technologies that the NICB cited as being effective theft deterrents were warning devices, vehicle immobilizing devices (engine “kill” switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys), and GPS-based tracking devices.