If you drive a Honda in one of our top 20 metro cities for car theft, you’re at the highest risk for having your vehicle stolen. The 2000 Civic and 1997 Accord, respectively, topped the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s list for car models most likely to be stolen in 2018.2
Pickup trucks are at a high risk of being stolen too. Nearly half of the top 10 most stolen vehicles are full-sized pickup trucks from Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, and GMC.
With nine cities listed in the 20 safest, the South ranks as the safest region in the country when it comes to car theft. Texas is particularly safe: seven of its cities rank in the top 20 cities with fewest car thefts. The East Coast and Midwest both come in second, with four cities apiece in the top 20. And Naperville, Illinois, ranks as the safest metropolitan city in the country with 26.3 car thefts per 100,000 people.
The time of year counts. Vehicle theft during the summer months is common.3 Thefts also go up around certain holidays: 22,770 vehicles were reported stolen on the 11 major holidays in 2017.4 New Year’s Day, President’s Day, and Halloween saw the most car thefts.
Vehicles with keys left inside are the most vulnerable. On every day from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, an average of 209 vehicles were stolen across the United States because the driver left their keys or fob in the car5—that’s 229,339 vehicles total, a 56% increase since 2015.
Even leaving your keys available in a public spot—like in an unlocked gym locker—puts you at risk. Keep your keys out of the public eye to keep them out of thieves’ hands.
Technology has changed, but the things that thieves look for haven’t. Thieves still look for easy targets. Your car is more likely to be stolen if it’s unlocked, parked in a dark spot of the street, or even left running to get the A/C started on a warm day.
Thieves look for both car parts and valuables. They’re not picky, just looking for whatever sells. That usually includes popular vehicle parts, such as body panels and moldings, wheels, and headlights, or valuables, like radios, cellphones, iPads, laptops, and purses.