NICB: Toyota Camry Leads List of Most Stolen Mid-sized Cars

Car thiefThe Toyota Camry is the most stolen car of mid-sized 2010-12 model year vehicles, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said in its latest report on theft figures.

The Chevrolet Impala is the most stolen “large” car of those model years, according to the NICB, which combined mid-sized and large vehicle classes in the Thursday report.

The report covers nationwide car theft records for 2010-12 model-year vehicles in those classes that were reported stolen to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012.

Mid-sized cars—like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion—made up 70 percent of stolen vehicles between the two classes. Frank Scafidi, NICB spokesman, told Online Auto Insurance News (OAIN) that higher theft figures for mid-sized cars was “most likely tied to the population of these vehicles as opposed to the large models,” though he also said that the bureau didn’t “have the data to say for sure.”

According to the report, there were 31,586 total thefts between the two vehicle classes. The following shows theft numbers for the top 10 most stolen large and mid-size cars:

Make Model # of Thefts Vehicle Class
Toyota Camry 4,619 Mid-sized
Chevrolet Impala 3,608 Large
Nissan Altima 3,103 Mid-sized
Chevrolet Malibu 3,035 Mid-sized
Ford Fusion 2,819 Mid-sized
Dodge Charger 2,808 Large
Hyundai Sonata 1,847 Mid-sized
Honda Accord 1,712 Mid-sized
Dodge Avenger 1,321 Mid-sized
Chrysler 300 1,045 Large


Bureau Reports on Top Areas for Thefts, Recovery Rates

Like in its previous reports, the bureau offered a location-based breakdown based on core-based statistical areas (CBSAs). For mid-sized and large vehicles, the Detroit-Warren-Livonia area led with 2,405 thefts.

The Detroit-Warren-Livonia area was the fifth-leading CBSA in “sporty” car thefts, according to an earlier report from the bureau.

In the NICB’s theft report on late-model compact and subcompact vehicles, released last month, the Detroit-Warren-Livonia area did not even appear in the top 10 rankings by CBSA.

According to Scafidi, the bureau’s reports offer no discernable reason as to “why there are more thefts in one area over another, or why a certain class of vehicle is stolen in one region compared to another.”

“It really comes down to the mindset of the thief—and the opportunity for theft that might exist,” he told OAIN.

In the bureau’s latest report on mid-sized and large vehicles, the rate at which these stolen cars went unrecovered averaged 6.5 percent. The recovery percentage for mid-sized and large vehicles was much higher than for compact, subcompact and sporty vehicles, according to the NICB.

Scafidi said that the discrepancies in recovery rates between different vehicle classes, makes and models are “another aspect of these reports that has no easy explanation” because “recovering a stolen vehicle often occurs when that vehicle comes to the attention of law enforcement.”

“If it’s abandoned in an alley somewhere, it will get attention. If it is driven by a careless driver, it will get attention,” he said. “If it just ‘melts’ into the landscape and is used by someone who drives carefully and brings no attention to themselves or is abandoned in an area where there is plenty of automobile camouflage, then it’s likely to go unrecovered for a much longer time.”

Drivers whose vehicles are stolen can rely on comprehensive coverage, an optional type of protection that compensates the policyholder in instances of theft.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), comprehensive protection is one of the more affordable car insurance policy types for its price because it also covers a number of situations, from weather-related damage to theft to vandalism.

Auto Theft, Prevention Is a Constantly Evolving Game

Car thieves modify their methods alongside the development of antitheft technology, according to the NICB. The bureau has reported on criminals’ new techniques, which include stealing transponder keys that allow them to bypass key code technology built into later-model vehicles.

Scafidi said that key code theft is “still an issue, although not as much as it has been in previous years.”

The most prominent car theft issue has to do with the season. Wintertime “puffer” thefts occur when unknowing drivers leave their car running while they are in their home getting last-minute items or making a quick trip into a store.

“We still see many many thefts thanks to drivers who leave their cars running unattended or leave their keys in the car when they step out for ‘only a minute’ to get something quick,” Scafidi told OAIN. “That’s all it takes if you do that in an area where some thief is looking for just that behavior.”

The bureau’s latest theft report is its second-to-last for 2013 with a last report, on car thefts during the holidays, scheduled for release next week.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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