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Hot Wheels: America’s 10 most stolen vehicles

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Theo Thimou, Clark.com

When it comes to crunching the numbers on auto theft, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is the authority on which vehicles are most often stolen in a given year.

The NICB’s annual Hot Wheels report has just been released with final numbers tallying vehicle thefts across the country for 2016.

You may want to study this list before you buy your next new or used ride!

Read more: How to avoid buying a vehicle that seems legit but is actually stolen

Top 10 most stolen vehicles

The new numbers from NICB offer a look at the most stolen rides of any make, model and year during the past calendar year. A separate list below tallies the most stolen 2016 model year vehicles reported stolen in the same period.

Most stolen vehicles in 2016

This list should give Honda owners cause for concern. Taken together, thefts of 1997 Accords and 1998 Civics accounted for a whopping 42% of all thefts in the Top 10 list.

Fortunately, newer Hondas have smart keys and other anti-theft technology. Both of those factors limit the likelihood newer Hondas will be stolen, according to NICB.

Meanwhile, almost every vehicle on the Top 10 list is at least one model year old or more. But what if you’re buying a new vehicle?

Most new vehicles in 2016

If you’re buying new new, give this list a glance to get a sense of what criminals like to target among current model-year vehicles.

What can you do to deter vehicle theft?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motor vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds in America. Only 57% of those vehicles reported as stolen are recovered.

Sometimes car theft may be beyond your control. For example, instances of crooks using laptops to break into newer car modelshave been captured on video.

But other times preventing the theft in the first place is very doable. About half of all car theft is a crime of opportunity. Leaving the keys in the car when you’re out and about running errands is the number one situation that a crook can capitalize on, according to the NHTSA. So don’t do it!

Here’s another thing you can do to deter thieves: Hide your owner’s manual! Some thieves have been known to use the owner’s manual to get replacement keys to vehicles they want to steal.

Here’s what AAA suggests you do to prevent auto theft:

  • Always lock your vehicle with the windows closed.  Even if you park your vehicle in a garage, this simple measure is added security.
  • Never leave belongings out in the open in your car as they could tempt thieves.
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle or leave your vehicle running any time you are not in it.
  • Keep your vehicle in secure, well-lit areas. When possible, park in a locked garage. Also, consider installing a motion-activated floodlight that illuminates the place where your car is parked.
  • Use anti-theft or automatic tracking devices. If your vehicle wasn’t equipped with an alarm or hidden tracking device when purchased, have one installed.
  • Remove spare keys from vehicle. Never hide a spare ignition key in your vehicle. Remove keys from under floor mats, etc.

Read more: Top 10 cities for vehicle theft

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