10. 1999 Ford Taurus
The 1999 Taurus is particularly popular with thieves in the District of Columbia, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Like most of the other vehicles on the list, the Taurus is far from exotic. But that could be part of the appeal for thieves looking to stay under the radar.
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
In Nebraska and North Carolina, it’s the fifth most popular automobile among thieves. Domestic vehicles such as the Explorer were pilfered more than foreign ones last year for the first time since 2002; the 2010 list is dominated by three Fords — including the Explorer — two Dodges and a Chevrolet, while just four foreign-made cars make an appearance.
8. 1994 Acura Integra
the age of the 1994 Integra makes it easier to steal. “They don’t have protective bells and whistles like smart keys,” Scafidi says. When it comes to newer cars, which are designed to protect against theft, the days of sneaking a coat hook in to unlock a door are over. “The linkage between the door lock and the door handle isn’t there anymore,” Scafidi says. But it sure is with the ’94 Integra — the fourth most stolen vehicle in California.
7. 2000 Dodge Caravan
Clearly joyriding isn’t the motive for thieves; the Caravan, after all, is a minivan. And the vehicle isn’t ubiquitous on the streets, which would naturally account for a high number of thefts. Yet thieves prowl the streets of Connecticut, Florida and Hawaii hoping to score a 2000 Caravan. It was the single most stolen vehicle of 2010 in Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. WOW! GO FIGURE?!
6. 2004 Dodge Ram
It’s the second most stolen vehicle in Texas, which helps account for the 2004 Dodge Ram’s position as the sixth hottest automobile in the country. It’s unusual for a newer model to make the list, and that’s because new vehicles tend to benefit from advances in anti-theft technology. Immobilizing devices such as kill switches and fuel cut-offs prevent theft. But newer Dodge Rams are still a favorite with thieves, likely due to their sheer popularity with consumers. The 2001 model was the No. 1 most stolen vehicle across New Mexico in 2010.
5. 1997 Ford F-150 Series
One of the best-selling trucks in any given year, the Ford F-150 makes the most-stolen list by virtue of its numbers on the road. “There are more targets,” Scafidi says. The 1997 model dominates the top five slots in states like Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Tennessee and West Virginia.
4. 1999 Chevrolet Silverado
In places like Texas and New Mexico, where trucks are used for their original purpose — farming and ranching — Chevy pickups are particularly vulnerable to being stolen. It tops many lists of most stolen vehicles in agricultural states, and the oldest models are among the most appealing to thieves. In Oklahoma, for instance, the 1992 Chevrolet Silverado — an 18-year-old vehicle — was the most stolen vehicle on the road in 2010.
3. 1991 Toyota Camry
The granddaddy of the “Hot Wheels” list, the 1991 Camry was 19 years old in 2010, yet thieves in Hawaii, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania couldn’t get enough of it, putting it in the top three of those states’ most stolen lists. Why? “They’re sought after because they last a long time.
2. 1995 Honda Civic
“They sell a lot from year to year and they last a long time,” Scafidi says of the Honda Civic, a perennial favorite with thieves. “It’s almost a backhanded compliment that these imports tend to be stolen.” Indeed, the 1995 Civic is the second most stolen car in all of California — a state where, according to Scafidi, drug use and vehicle theft are often linked. “It’s not unusual in the Central Valley of California for a meth addict to steal something off a car and convert it to meth,” he says. “They take little things they can exchange for money.”
1. 1994 Honda Accord
Nearly 52,000 Honda Accords were stolen in 2010, and more than 44,000 of those were models produced in the 1990s, such as the 1994 Accord. This is because in 2000 Honda began installing transponder key systems, which thwart thieves in a couple of ways: The keys are difficult to duplicate and the system immobilizes the car if the wrong key is used. But the ’94 Accord doesn’t benefit from this technology, and it was the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. in 2010 for the third year in a row — and the first or second hottest car in 15 states.
I HAD A 1989 TOYOTA CAMRY AND SOME LITTLE KIDS STOLE IT RIGHT OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY. THEY DID SUCH A GOOD JOB AT NOT BREAKING ANYTHING THAT I COULD STILL USE THE ORIGINAL KEY IN THE IGNITION!