The 1994 Honda Accord was the most stolen vehicle in 2011, followed by the 1998 Honda Civic and the 2006 full-size Ford pickup, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
This is the fourth consecutive year the '94 Accord topped the bureau's "Hot Wheels" list of most stolen-vehicles in the United States. Civics made in the '90s have also placed at or near the top for several years. Lots of those cars were sold, and many remain on the road today, thanks to their durability and popularity.
Six of the 10 most stolen vehicles last year date back to the '90s, including the 21-year-old 1991 Toyota Camry, which placed fourth. While new vehicles are usually stolen to be resold intact, old cars are usually nabbed for their parts. Old cars are easier to swipe because they lack the theft prevention technology that comes with many new vehicles.
Vehicle theft continued to decline overall last year to the lowest level in 45 years. Preliminary 2011 FBI crime statistics show a 3.3 percent drop from the 737,142 thefts recorded in 2010.
However, despite an overall decline, the NICB reports seeing a rising number of newer vehicle thefts.
"Today's vehicle thieves are typically professional criminals who have figured out how to get the key code for a specific vehicle, have a replacement key made, and steal the vehicle within a matter of days," bureau President and CEO Joe Wehrle said in a press release. "We are aware of nearly 300 thefts that took place in the first three months of this year in which we believe replacement keys using illegally obtained key codes were used to steal the vehicle."
The bureau is working with member insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and automakers to track illegal key code transactions to stop the thefts. The bureau's "Hot Wheels" list is the only report that examines all theft data, regardless of whether the vehicle is insured.
Here are the most stolen vehicles nationwide:
1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1998 Honda Civic
3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
6. 1994 Acura Integra
7. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
8. 2004 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 1994 Nissan Sentra