The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has published the results of a new study that looked at the rates of car theft around the country, with the focus being on luxury cars. The organization, which works closely with law enforcement agencies to gather its data, has found that the most popular luxury car among thieves is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

NICB researchers found that 4,384 luxury cars were reported stolen in the U.S. between the period of the study, which ran from January 1, 2009 until December 31, 2012. Of these, 485 were various C-Class models. The next most stolen luxury car was the BMW 3-Series, with 471 reported thefts, followed by the Infiniti G series, with 405 reported thefts.

Mercedes-Benz was a popular make among thieves, with two more of its models registering among the top ten most stolen luxury cars. They were the E-Class at position four on the list and the S-Class at position ten.  

It should be noted that luxury cars only account for a fraction of the total number of vehicles stolen in the country. Another organization, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), recently published its own list of the most stolen cars and none of the luxury cars in the NICB list made the top ten. The most stolen car according to the HLDI was the Ford F-250 pickup truck.

Getting back to the NICB study, the researchers found that California had the highest rate of luxury car theft, accounting for 1,063 of the 4,384 total luxury car thefts. South Dakota and Wyoming tied for the least luxury car thefts, both registering just one theft each.

Part of the reason for the high theft rates in California, researchers say, is due to crime gangs using the Port of Los Angeles to ship cars overseas. Often, they rent or lease cars using aliases and then ship them out of the country.  

Of the 4,384 luxury cars stolen, 713 remain unrecovered at the time of the study's conclusion date. That translates to a recovery rate of 83.7 percent. The Infiniti G had the highest number of unrecovered thefts at 83, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with 80 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with 78.

Below is a list of the ten most stolen luxury cars and the number of thefts:
1) Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 485
2) BMW 3-Series - 471
3) Infiniti G - 405
4) Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 381
5) Cadillac CTS - 326
6) BMW 5-Series - 256
7) Lincoln MKZ - 226
8) Acura TSX - 190
9) Lexus IS - 177
10) Mercedes-Benz S-Class - 163

Below is a list of the ten states with the highest rate of luxury car thefts:
1) California - 1,063
2) Florida - 674
3) New Jersey - 453
4) New York - 404
5) Michigan - 230
6) Texas - 229
7) Georgia - 141
8) Illinois - 132
9) Pennsylvania - 112
10) Maryland - 103


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