March 20, 2003 by Canadian Underwriter
In a study by U.S.-based technology firm CCC Information Services Inc., the 1998 Toyota Camry topped the theft list last year for the fourth time in the last five years. Falling second is the 1991 Camry, 2001’s top theft target.
Imports dominated the list, including Toyota and Honda models making up 20 of the top 25 most stolen. Notwithstanding model year, Honda’s are the most stolen make of vehicle.
Among the U.S. domestic vehicles making the top-25 list, all are trucks, including the 1994 and 1997 Chevrolet C1500 4X2, and the 1997 and 2001 Ford F150 4X2.
mini-vans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) gained popularity amongst thieves, with a 10% increase in thefts between 2000 and 2002. This may largely reflect their growing popularity among buyers, as opposed to full-sized models and “muscle cars”, such as the Ford Mustang, which have seen thefts rates drop as popularity has declined
“Though we cannot determine with absolute certainty the reason for vehicle theft, trends suggest that cars are often stolen for the value of their parts,” says Mary Jo Prigge, CCC’s president of sales and service. “Vehicle theft historically follows consumers’ choices, which is reflected in the popularity of imports and the gaining popularity of minivans and SUVs among thieves.” Toyotas and Hondas are not only popular amongst car buyers, but also have interchangeable parts amongst model years, making them a popular source of replacement parts.
The figures come from analyzing claims from more than 350 North American insurers last year, and includes only those totally lost and never recovered, not temporary thefts such as “joyrides”.