Car thief breaking into car. Image courtesy of Rocky Mountain Tracking.

Car thief breaking into car. Image courtesy of Rocky Mountain Tracking.

If you’ve ever had a car broken into or stolen, you know the sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. Maybe you even blame yourself for parking in a remote corner of the lot (to avoid door dings), or maybe you start to second guess your choice of cars. If only you’d bought something a little less flashy, perhaps you wouldn’t be giving your story to a sympathetic police officer.

Odd as it may sound, statistics show that it’s not high-end cars that are stolen most often. You’re more at risk of car theft if you drive an older Honda Civic or Honda Accord than you are if you drive a new BMW; in other words, car value has little to do with car theft rates.

Why steal fifteen-year-old Hondas instead of new BMWs? First, the cars are easier to steal, since older cars lack the sophisticated anti-theft systems of modern vehicles. Parts value is the other primary reason, and there are a lot more fifteen-year-old Honda Accords on the road than there are new BMWs. Car thieves (at least the professional ones) like cars that can be easily stripped and converted into high-demand spare parts.

So what cars made Lojack’s 2010 list? Below are the top 10 most stolen and recovered vehicles by manufacturer and model, with their 2009 ranking in parenthesis.

1.     Honda Accord (2)

2.     Honda Civic (1)

3.     Toyota Camry (3)

4.     Acura Integra (4)

5.     Cadillac Escalade (5)

6.     Toyota Corolla (6)

7.     Dodge Ram Pickup (new to list)

8.     Nissan Altima (8)

9.     Nissan Maxima (new to list)

10. Chevrolet Tahoe (7)


[Lojack, via Kicking Tires]