From stolen Honda Accords to relaxation guilt

Don’t Drive an Old Honda in California

Last year, more than 52,000 ’96 Honda Accords were stolen in the United States. Half of those were in California.

Thieves must love Hondas, because the same goes for 1998 Honda Civics. In 2015, almost 50,000 were stolen, and again half of those were in the golden state.

Californians are by far the worst victims of car theft. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) report released today, the state had 86,768 thefts last year. The next-highest state? Texas, with just 25,433. Here’s a quick look at the most common theft in every state…

2015 saw a big increase in theft. In 2014, just over 76,000 stolen cars were stolen in California, with both Honda cars topping the list then, too. Why the uptick? NICB President Joe Wehrle says it comes down to common sense.

“Far too often, drivers leave their vehicles unlocked or with the keys inside, making it way too easy for an opportunistic thief,” Wehrle says. But it doesn’t just stop with older models: “Criminals are doing their best to defeat anti-theft technology through hacking and other means while, at the same time, manufacturers and others are working to improve security.”

Newer cars, like those released in the last five years, are seeing an increase in thefts as well. California saw more than 3,300 2014 Toyota Corollas stolen last year — that’s almost double of the number stolen in every other state combined.

Earlier this year, the NICB said California had the nation’s highest per capita vehicle theft rate last year. Eight out of the top 10 spots were all in California.

Texas, the second-highest state for car thefts, actually saw a slight drop from the previous year. In 2014, 26,226 cars were stolen, while last year 25,433 vehicles were taken.

Vermont was the safest state for cars last year: Only 70 cars were taken across the state. The most stolen type was 2001 Chevrolet pick-up, with just 15 thefts.

The most stolen cars in the country

Older models are still at the top of the list. The 1996 Honda Accord and the 1998 Honda Civic were not only California’s most stolen cars, they were also the most stolen car across the United States. Together, they account for more than 100,000 car thefts last year. In the top 10:

  1. 1996 Honda Accord — 52,244
  2. 1998 Honda Civic — 49,430
  3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size) — 29,396
  4. 2004 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) — 27,771
  5. 2014 Toyota Camry — 15,466
  6. 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size) — 11,212
  7. 2014 Toyota Corolla — 10,547
  8. 2015 Nissan Altima — 10,374
  9. 2002 Dodge Caravan — 9,798
  10. 2008 Chevrolet Impala — 9,225

How to avoid getting your car stolen

In January, the FBI said car theft is up 1 percent across the nation. The NICB says there are easy ways to protect your car from being stolen:

  • Park in a well-lit area and be sure to remove keys from the car, lock all your doors and close windows.
  • Make sure your car has some sort of alarm system in place that shows potential thieves that your car is protected, like a car alarm and brake and wheel locks.
  • Try to make sure your keys have smart keys — where computer chips are in the ignition keys — which prevent bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring. You can also have starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers.
  • Enable a tracking device in your car to alert you and police if it’s being stolen.

Make sure your car is insured, and stay up-to-date on how to lower your rates.

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