The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is best known for it’s “Hot Wheels” report, which is an annual recounting of the top ten most stolen cars in America. While the “Hot Wheels” report covers all makes and models, the NICB has decided to periodically issue reports on what it calls “Classics,” beginning with the Ford Mustang.

Since the car’s launch in 1964, some eight and a half million Mustangs have been sold. The car’s best year was 1966, when Ford sold 549,436 Mustangs, while the leanest year was 2009, when Ford sold just 66,623 units. Thanks to the tanking economy, no one was buying cars in 2009, so the data comes as no surprise.

As for thefts, the year with the highest number of Mustangs stolen was 1981, when 20,708 cars went missing. The fewest thefts were reported in 2011, when just 4,347 Mustangs went missing.

Since accurate theft data only dates back to 1981, the NICB report focuses on the period from 1981 through 2011. In that three-decade range, a total of 411,155 Mustangs were taken from their owners.

Now that you have the background, here are the top ten model years stolen:

  1. 1.   2000, with 7,085 thefts between 2001-2011
  2. 2.   1995, with 6,790 thefts between 2001-2011
  3. 3.   1998, with 5,394 thefts between 2001-2011
  4. 4.   2001, with 5,103 thefts between 2001-2011
  5. 5.   2002, with 4,226 thefts between 2001-2011
  6. 6.   2003, with 3,996 thefts between 2001-2011
  7. 7.   1994, with 3,949 thefts between 2001-2011
  8. 8 .  2004, with 3234 thefts between 2001-2011
  9. 9.   1996, with 3,045 thefts between 2001-2011
  10. 10. 1989, with 2,629 thefts between 2001-2011

While the NICB doesn’t document production numbers by year, it comes as no surprise that 2000 was the highest production year for the fourth generation Mustang, with some  218,525 cars built. What is a surprise is that nine of the ten most stolen Mustangs are fourth generation cars, with only 1989 representing the Fox-bodied years.

Thanks to advancements in security and electronics, newer cars are harder to steal via old-fashioned methods. No fifth-generation cars made the top ten list, which gives you the idea that Ford’s anti-theft measures are working well.

Preventing car theft is all about making life hard for thieves, and the NICB recommends a multi-layer approach to car security. The harder you make your ride to steal, the more likely it is that a thief will shop elsewhere.