While Albuquerque and Anchorage remain the primary car theft hubs of the country, vehicle theft occurs everywhere. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), nearly 750,000 motor vehicles were stolen in 2018. This amounts to approximately one theft every 42 seconds, with an aggregate value of just over $6 billion. If you’ve watched the Hollywood thriller, Gone in 60 Seconds, you understand the value and thrills that veterans of this illicit industry seek out.
Are you curious if the car you drive is among the most commonly stolen? We were too! Annually, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NIBU) releases a report detailing commonly stolen makes and models of vehicles that year. Among those listed for 2018, we identified the 5 most popular to steal. Does your current automobile fall on the list?
1. 2000 Honda Civic
Perhaps because of its purchasing popularity, the 2000 Honda Civic was the most stolen vehicle in 2018 with nearly 5,300 hijacked units. Across all model years, nearly 40,000 were stolen. Typical automatic transmissions in these vehicles include the 4-speed B4RA and S4RA. One of the earliest CVT transmissions introduced in passenger vehicles could be found in the HX version of the 2000 Honda Civic and this CVT model was the M4VA.
2. 1997 Honda Accord
Evidently, thieves prefer Hondas, stealing nearly 5,100 1997 Honda Accords in 2018. Once again popularity influences this statistic. In 1997, hundreds of thousands of units were sold – over twenty years later, Honda Accords are still trendy!
One common reason that older cars are targeted is for valuable parts. Older vehicles are often dragged to a “chop shop” and demolished. Individual parts are then sold online to often unsuspecting buyers. Another reason is the ease of successfully stealing an older vehicle with less anti-theft features relative to newer vehicles.
Typical automatic transmissions in this vehicle include the 4-speed A0YA, B0YA, MP0A and finally the MPZA in the 2.7L 6-cylinder model.
3. 2006 Ford F-150
The quintessential American vehicle, over 3,000 Ford F-150s were pilfered in 2018. While the 2006 model is particularly popular among patriotic thieves, Ford F-150s across all model years are common targets. We hope those thieves have a trustworthy transmission shop it can turn to. Ford F150 transmissions are among the most common units rebuild at independent transmission shops. The 2006 F150 is equipped with a 4R75W automatic transmission that is a solid unit but normally requires a rebuild after 120,000 miles given the towing and heavy-duty applications truck owners demand from their vehicle.
4. 2004 Chevrolet Silverado
During our research into the National Insurance Crime Bureau, we discovered that the feud between Ford and Chevy evidently extends into the criminal world. Across all model years, over 30,000 Silverado trucks were hijacked and stolen, maintaining its record as one of the most commonly stolen vehicles in the country. Similar to its F150 counterpart, the 4L60E automatic transmission in these trucks are seen weekly at most credible transmission shops.
5. 2017 Toyota Camry
Last, but not least, the 2017 Toyota Camry was swiped from owners around the country on over 1,100 occasions. Across all model years, over 15,000 vehicles were stolen. Of course, of the five vehicles listed, the 2017 Toyota is the newest model, demonstrating that even modern vehicles are not exempt from theft. The automatic U760E transmission that typically comes in this vehicle is engineered as a 6-speed unit. As the youngest vehicle on this list, it shouldn’t be surprising that it has 2 more speeds than its older peers. As much as the vehicle manufacturers want to communicate that change is for improved drivability and comfort, it’s really about fuel economy standards.
Tips for Preventing Vehicle Theft
While the vehicles listed above are most likely to be obtained illegally, any car or truck could be stolen. As we await NICB and FBI reports regarding 2019 vehicle theft statistics, we encourage every vehicle owner to take steps to prevent vehicle theft. We’ve listed a few tips below.
- Park in a lighted, populated area that feels safe: As obvious as this may seem, parking in a safe, lighted location is important for the safety of your vehicle and you!
- Always lock your car & don’t leave your keys in your vehicle
- Ensure your audible or visible alarm is working: A warning device such as this may deter thieves.
- Consider utilizing a tracking device: A tracking system will allow local police to trace your stolen vehicle and, hopefully, recover your property.
- Install fuse cutoffs or a kill switch
- Consider purchasing a manual transmission vehicle: Would-be thieves may be in for a surprise!
Advanced Transmission Center
At Advanced Transmission Center, we are dedicated to customer satisfaction, 100% of the time. Across 5 decades, we have served clients as Denver’s leading transmission repair specialists. Ultimately, our dedication to the Denver and broader Colorado community extends beyond repair – we care about your vehicles, your families, and your wellbeing. After thousands of satisfied customers, we take pride in being the most trusted local transmission shops in Colorado.
If you have any questions regarding our services, feel free to reach out to either of our locations, or complete our online form!
Southwest Metro Denver (Lakewood/Littleton): Call (303) 816-3856
Northwest Metro Denver (Westminster): Call (303) 647-5257