Are you fond of your pickup truck? You’re not the only one.
Car thieves are playing a real world version of Grand Theft Auto, and pickup trucks are their favorite targets.
Passenger-Vehicle Thefts Up
Passenger-vehicle thefts increased 8% in 2021 from 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau
And for the second year in a row, General Motors’ (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report Chevrolet and Ford’s (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report full-size pickups took the top two spots in the group’s annual Hot Wheels vehicle-theft report, and the GMC full-size pickup made the top 10 list.
Of the nearly 1 million total vehicles reported stolen in 2021, the group said, one of every seven (14%) passenger vehicles were Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC full-size pickup models.
Used Car Values Soar
“Used-car values are at historical highs,” David Glawe, the bureau’s president and CEO. “We have seen a nearly 35% increase in used-car values over the last two years due to supply-chain issues and inflation. Stolen cars can be shipped overseas and resold or broken down for valuable used-car parts here in the U.S.”
Six vehicle makes — Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Toyota (TM) – Get Toyota Motor Corporation Report Camry, Nissan (NSANY) Altima, Honda CR-V, and the Toyota Corolla — round out the top 10 and account for 15% of stolen passenger vehicles in 2021, the group said.
The Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (STLA) – Get Stellantis N.V. Report sport utility vehicle, making its first appearance in NICB’s Hot Spots top 10 list, rounds out the four U.S. models most stolen in 2021.
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Full-size pickups and midsized sedans on the Hot Wheels list are also best-sellers, according to the NICB’s analysis.
Popularity and availability are likely contributors to their high theft numbers. The report said that the Ford F-Series pickup has been a top-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades.
The statistics surrounding car theft are sobering.
Vehicle theft is a multibillion-dollar crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles coming in at about $7.4 billion in 2020 alone, an average of $9,166 per theft, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the FBI.
Motor-vehicle theft is the third most prevalent property crime reported, the FBI said. A 2019 study by Pew Research Center found that auto theft was the crime most likely to be reported but least likely to be solved.
Tough to Steal
But the NICB said that last year, of the passenger vehicles that were reported stolen in the first 24 hours, a third (34%) were recovered.
And some cars are tough to steal because of their antitheft features. A few of are the Tesla Model S (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc. Report, Nissan Leaf, BMW 3-series four-door (BMWYY) and the Hyundai Tucson (HYMTF) , according to Jerry Insurance Agency.
As far as location, Bakersfield, Calif., leads the way with the most car thefts per capita, 905 per 100,000 residents, according to a report by Insurify. That’s 53% greater than the state average.
Yuba City, Calif., 45 minutes north of the capital in Sacramento, ranks second with 724 thefts. That’s followed by Denver with 706, Odessa, Texas, (5 hours southwest of Dallas) with 664 and San Francisco with 655 car thefts per 100,000 residents.
Meanwhile, State College, Pa., was deemed the safest U.S. city for cars in 2022. The car theft rate in the home of Penn State University is just 17 vehicles per 100,000 residents, 94% less than the national average.