New Honda thefts down, says NICB, in new list of most stolen cars

2012 Honda Accord EX-L V-6:

2012 Honda Accord EX-L V-6: not a theft target, or harder to steal?

It’s harder to steal a Honda these days. At least it’s harder to steal a new Honda. Either that or car thieves just don’t want to steal new Hondas. That’s one conclusion that can be drawn from the National Insurance Claims Bureau’s “Hot Wheels” ten most stolen vehicles list. For 2012, the NICB lists not only the top ten vehicles but for the first time, the top 2012 model year vehicles stolen in 2012.

And there’s a difference.

For 2012, the NCIB reports the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. were total in parentheses:

1. Honda Accord

58,596

2. Honda Civic

47,037

3. Ford Pickup (Full Size)

26,770

4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)

23,745

5. Toyota Camry

16,251

6. Dodge Caravan

11,799

7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size)

11,755

8. Acura Integra

9,555

9. Nissan Altima

9,169

10. Nissan Maxima

6,947

 

Honda Accords and Civics are significantly the most stolen models in 2012. The NCIB notes that the 1996 Accord by itself represented 8,637 thefts, and taken by model and year, Accords and Civics accounted for the first 16 spots on the most stolen list. And all of those are 1990 through 2000 models.

However, the list for new cars stolen is almost completely different, with no Honda model on the list. The top 2012 models stolen in 2012 list has the Nissan Altima on top:

1. Nissan Altima

921

2. Chevrolet Impala

778

3. Chevrolet Malibu

727

4. Toyota Camry

665

5. Ford Fusion

655

6. Ford Pickup (Full Size)

595

7. Ford Focus

523

8. Chrysler 200

449

9. Dodge Charger

416

10. Dodge Avenger

412

 

The Altima’s attractiveness to thieves, however, isn’t nearly as distinct as the earlier differences between first and tenth place, whether that’s a difference in security measures or the desirability of a particularly model to thieves.

This only provides part of the picture, and what it means to the likelihood of any individual car being stolen isn’t as clear. If there are a greater number of vehicles of a particular model on the road, the same total number of thefts as model with fewer made would mean that the odds any specific car of the larger production vehicle of being stolen would be smaller.

“Indeed, to actually determine the “likelihood” that a particular vehicle might be stolen requires a lot more data than we have in our possession,” NCIB’s Frank Scafidi told CarBuzzard.

“We’d really need to know how many of a particular make/model were produced, sold in the US and then how many of them have active registrations. That requires a lot of data mining at the state level to acquire. Then we’d have to consider population density in those states and work out some kind of formula that takes all those factors into account.  That’s just for a state perspective. We’d need to do the same to come up with a national perspective as well.

“Which is why our reports don’t draw any conclusions about the likelihood any vehicle will be stolen based on the data we publish—can’t be done.”

“But just a simple look like the number of a specific make/model stolen in a year as a percentage of that vehicle’s sales number is one view,” said Scarifaldi. “We did that for 2012 model vehicles stolen in calendar year 2012.  Of all things, the Toyota Yaris topped that list. But that is really a function of Yaris sales being 30,590 in 2012 compared with the F-150’s being 645,316.”

What does it mean for the average car owner? Nothing really on a day-to-day basis. Don’t want your car on the list? Do all the theft prevention stuff you usually would. And maybe, just buy a Honda.