2008 “Hot Wheels” report: 2007 thefts on decline; Older cars still hot w/thieves

FOR RELEASE: July 9, 2008

Des Plaines, IL – Hot Wheels 2008, the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) companion study to its annual Hot Spots auto theft report examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2007.  See the full report at www.nicb.org.

For 2007-2006, the most commonly stolen vehicles* in the nation were:
US 2007 Ranking
1.  1995 Honda Civic
2.  1991 Honda Accord
3.  1989 Toyota Camry
4.  1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup
5.  1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup
6.  1994 Acura Integra
7.  2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
8.  1994 Nissan Sentra
9.  1988 Toyota Pickup
10.  2007 Toyota Corolla

US 2006 Ranking
1.   1995 Honda Civic
2.   1991 Honda Accord
3.   1989 Toyota Camry
4.   1997 Ford  F-150 Series Pickup
5.   2005 Dodge Ram Pickup
6.   1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup
7.   1994 Nissan Sentra
8.   1994 Dodge Caravan
9.   1994 Saturn SL
10. 1990 Acura Integra

In Ohio, the most commonly stolen vehicles were:
Ohio 2007 Ranking
1.  1994  Dodge Caravan
2.  1994  Oldsmobile Cutlass
3.  1994  Buick Century
4.  1996  Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
5.  1997  Ford Taurus
6.  1997  Chevrolet Cavalier
7.  2000  Dodge Intrepid
8.  1989  Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup
9.  1998  Honda Civic
10.  1995  Plymouth Voyager

Ohio 2006 Ranking
1.   1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass
2.   1994 Dodge Caravan
3.   1993 Buick Century
4.   1996 Ford Taurus
5.   1994 Chevrolet Cavalier
6.   1996 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
7.   1994 Plymouth Voyager
8.   1990 Buick LeSabre
9.   1990 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup
10. 1992 Chevrolet Van

The NICB study confirms that theft of older model vehicles has remained constant for the past several years.  Thieves continue to target these vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts.

On a positive note, the FBI preliminary Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data reveals that motor vehicle theft is headed for an 8.9% decrease in 2007.  The final data will be released later this year.

“The continuing national decrease in vehicle theft is a positive sign that the fight against vehicle theft by law enforcement, the insurance industry and the NICB continues to be effective,” said Robert M. Bryant, NICB’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Adding to its arsenal of weapons in the fight against fraud and theft, the NICB has expanded its popular VINCheckSM feature.  This popular consumer protection service now includes information on vehicles that have been declared “total losses” by participating NICB member insurance companies.  Unrecovered stolen vehicle data and flood vehicle data is also available through VINCheck.  For more on VINCheck, go to https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck/vincheck

“Our goal is to help prevent innocent people from buying a stolen vehicle and to help recover stolen vehicles that may enter the commerce stream in the future.  We are also striving to protect them against fraudulent used car sales and potentially deadly accidents by driving unsafe vehicles, “ Bryant said.

A Layered Approach to Protection:  To protect their investment, vehicle owners are urged to follow NICB’s “layered approach” to auto theft prevention by employing simple, low-cost suggestions to make their vehicles less attractive to thieves.  NICB’s four layers of protection are:

Common Sense:  The cheapest form of defense is to simply employ the anti-theft devices that are standard on all vehicles: locks.  Lock your car and take your keys.

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:  “Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys are among the devices which are high and low tech, but extremely effective.  Generally speaking, if your car won’t start, it won’t get stolen.

Tracking Device:  Some systems use GPS to track your vehicle.  Others use radio frequency technology and help law enforcement track and recover it quickly.

And always check in with VINCheck before buying a used vehicle.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation’s premier not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness.

You can help stop this criminal activity by reporting fraud and vehicle theft to NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).  You could be eligible for a reward.  You may also report fraud and theft by visiting our Web site www.nicb.org.
* NOTE:  This report reflects only stolen vehicle data reported to NCIC in 2007.  No further filtering of information is conducted, i.e., determining the total number of a particular make and model currently registered in the U.S. for comparison purposes.

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OHIO AUTO THEFT FACTS
•  2005-07 Ohio Vehicle Thefts

2005       41,379
2006       37,425   9.5% decrease
2007       34,207   8.5% decrease*

•  Ohio Cities with Population over 100,000 – 2006 and 2007 Preliminary Auto Theft Figures*

Akron 2006 1,385
2007 1,202
Cincinnati 2006 2,586
2007 1,997
Cleveland 2006 6,554
2007 6,777
Columbus 2006 6,391
2007 6,228
Dayton 2006 2,203
2007 1,583
Toledo 2006 2,557
2007 1,876

* Source: Preliminary 2007 figures from FBI Uniform Crime Reports

•  Based on 2007 preliminary figures from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, theft activity is decreasing nationwide. 2007 will be the fourth consecutive year of declines

RELATED LINKS:

OII 2004-2006 Ohio motor vehicle thefts by selected cities
Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) top locations for Ohio auto thefts, first quarter 2008
OSHP auto theft bulletin
National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) ‘Hot Spots’ 2008
•  NICB ‘Hot Wheels’ 2007 news release
NICB Layers of protection for auto theft protection