GMC Pickup Most Stolen New Vehicle in 2018, Says FBI

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual Hot Wheels report this month. The good news is that auto thefts declined in 2018, according to the FBI.

The bad news? NICB is still doing a running tally of all the rides ripped away from their owners, putting the 2000 model-year Honda Civic on top. It was followed closely by the 1997 Honda Accord. Fortunately, the NICB also kept track of the 2018 model year specifically, proving that the nation’s most-stolen automobiles continue to be the ones that sell the best.

With overall thefts dropping by 3 percent in 2018, resuming the downward trend we’ve become accustomed to, those old Hondas could retain their title for years until society finally breaks down. In fact, their inclusion helps to illustrate just how little car crime there is now vs 20 years ago. Both the vintage Accord and Civic models peaked with over 5,000 reported thefts for a single model year. For MY2018, the leader was “GMC Pickup (Full Size)” — a category that includes every Sierra variant General Motors manufactures. But only 1,170 units were swiped last year.

As car thefts are typically crimes of opportunity, the rest of the 2018 list is about what you’d expect. These are all popular models you wouldn’t be surprised to see parked outside of a garage:

GMC Pickup (Full Size) — 1,170 Stolen
Ford Pickup (Full Size) — 1,017 Stolen
Toyota Camry — 976 Stolen
Nissan Altima — 912 Stolen
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) — 790 Stolen
Hyundai Elantra — 775 Stolen
Ford Transit — 723 Stolen
Dodge Charger — 719 Stolen
Toyota Corolla — 699 Stolen
Chevrolet Malibu — 698 Stolen

There’s plenty of overlap with the Highway Loss Data Institute’s more-focused list of stolen vehicles from earlier this year, with a few notable differences. There aren’t any models from premium brands in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s tally, and the list also includes the Ford Transit, a model we highly recommend for thieves. It’s great for fast loading, whether you’re wrapping up a home invasion or pulling an all-nighter at a warehouse you’ve broken into. Yet also makes a decent work vehicle, if you ever decide to go straight.

The NICB makes some generic recommendations on how to keep your vehicle safer that are mostly worth heeding. As with home defense, it suggests “layers of protection.” You basically want to make your car as unappetizing to thieves as possible while continuing to add minor annoyances. If nabbing your ride takes longer or makes more noise than the vehicle next to you, odds are good it’ll be the one taken by lawbreakers.

VIN etching and immobilizers probably aren’t something everyone needs, especially if parking in a well-lit area with the doors locked keeps the car from being stolen in the first place. But they’re on the NICB’s list of safety recommendations if you’re interested and worth considering if you’re concerned with the security of your particular parking locale.

first published on TTAC