Car theft is big business for criminals. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau or NICB, theft of cars and trucks increased during 2020. While any car is under threat of thievery, there are some that are more attractive to thieves than others. If you've a vehicle whose parts are wanted on the underground market, such as a Camry or Silverado, then forewarned is equal to forearmed. In other words, learn about your vehicles factory installed security system, purchase and install some high quality aftermarket anti-theft devices, always park your vehicle under a street lamp if possible and never in the complete darkness, and never leave your car keys in place, even if it's only a short stop to pick up some bread, soda and candy. To give you an idea, we're going to take a look at the most stolen cars. It's crucial that you recognize that new car models can be stolen, not just the old ones. Stealing cars is big money, so if the automotive manufacturers are going to install high tech to abort it, then you know thieves are going to look for a way of getting past it.
20. Dodge Challenger
For muscle car meanness and power, it's tough to beat a MOPAR and the Dodge Challenger is as MOPAR as they get. When you deal with muscle cars like MOPARs, know that a good percentage of people who buy these types of cars live to modify them, so obtaining parts is crucial for their hobby. Thus, it stands to reason there's a lot of money in parts for muscle cars, whether Dodge, Ford, or Chevy. Knowing this, it couldn't hurt to invest in some anti-theft tech such as immobilizers or kill switches just for that added bit of protection.
19. Mitsubishi Outlander
Perhaps some of you have heard the tale of the car theft ring that used a device disguised as a Nintendo Game Boy to steal 5 Mitsubishi Outlanders. But why the Outlanders? It seems that the Outlander had a security system that was simple to bypass using the device. There you have it. While the Outlander isn't a particularly popular car, it was easy to thieve. So, here's to the argument that auto thieves will go where the pickings are the easiest, and that means cars and trucks which have security systems simply to bypass.
18. Ford Mustang
There's no doubt about it, the Ford Mustang is an iconic vehicle. It's also a muscle car, and as previously stated, muscle cars attract hobbyists. These hobbyists love to purchase add-ons to augment or modify their vehicles. So of course, parts for this auto will have hungry customers, especially if they can get them for cheap. The current generation that's on the roads today is the 5th generation Mustang, which was introduced to the public in 2015. To get an idea of how to mod a Mustang, just take a quick look at American Muscle, to see how deep this hobby goes, and the wide range of parts needed.
17. Jeep Compass
With 459 Jeep Compass's stolen in 2020, it's evident that thieves find this little auto a choice find. Considered Jeep's cheapest model, it appeals to those who wish to have the capabilities Jeep is known for, while not having to pay top dollar for one of the larger models. This small crossover comes wit 180 hp. The Jeep Compass has the Anti Theft System Control Module. Here the module will shut down the car or sound an alarm if it senses that the wrong key is being used
16. Chevy Equinox
At the number 16 spot, we have the Chevy Equinox. Again, we have a very popular vehicle with sales second only to Chevy's Silverado. This crossover from Chevy owes much of its reputation to its ability to be a standout utility vehicle. The Chevy Equinox has an anti-theft system in place. However, it does not prevent a car from being stolen. Instead it simply sounds an alarm in case of unauthorized entry.
15. Toyota RAV4
The 2020 model is a 5 seater with front wheel drive, that comes in 6 trims. It comes with a four cylinder engine, efficient multimedia system and standard safety features. With the 2020 version, it seems as if Toyota is taking this capable family-oriented SUV and adding a touch of the adventure/off-road experience. This is smart, as it turns this best selling vehicle into an adventure vehicle, in addition to it's family oriented purpose. The more offered not only benefits the purchaser, but also has more elements which could be sold on the market.
14. Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue is a powerhouse where sales are concerned. This popular compact SUV seats 5 with ease, has a four cylinder engine and CVT. As far as it's anti-theft security system, the Nissan Rogue's is composed of alarms to alert you if someone is attempting to enter the vehicle or try the lift gate. However, there is no real motion detector which will alert you if the security senses a vibration or the vehicle is moved. In other words, the system alerts the owner, but cannot prevent an actual theft. It may be a good idea to purchase a good security aftermarket kit as well. For instance, an identification marker or component lock may help prevent a theft, which is something this model does not have.
13. Jeep Wrangler
2018 saw the 4th generation of the Jeep Wrangler, or the JL. This new generation has enhanced aerodynamic design along with the addition of state-of-the-art technology. Jeep fans know that the Wrangler is a big seller. And as logic suggests, being a big seller means that all that popularity puts you into the view of thieves. If you're worried about your 4th generation jeep getting pinched, then look for a good aftermarket solution, such as cut off switches for ignition and fuel.
12. Ford Fusion
2013 saw the emergence of the 2nd generation of the Ford Fusion. Since that time, Ford instituted updates as it saw fit, such as backup cameras as standard, the elimination of manual transmission and a 1.5 liter EcoBoost turbo engine. Considered as one of the best American made passenger car, you know there's a need for some cheap parts. As such, it's more than evident that this model has seen the interior of a chop shop over the years. However, 2020 saw a major update in its security system: Ford Fusion Anti-Theft System Reset Procedure which should do well in keeping the remainders out of the chop shops.
11. Kia Optima
The Kia Optima is another popular, crowd favorite, and why not? Those responsible for designing the Kia made certain that it was a people pleaser with it's stylish interior, storage areas, and not to mention its state-of-the-art infotainment system. Not only that, but they did it in such a way as to make this sedan affordable for most. The Kia Optima Theft Alarm System was created to protect the Kia Optima from unauthorized entry. If the Kia is entered, it will sound an alarm accompanied by flashing hazard lights. Unauthorized entry refers to when front door, rear door or tail gate is opened, as well as the engine hood.
10. Dodge Charger
We're now about to meet the Dodge Challengers sibling, the Dodge Charger. Also a MOPAR, the Charger is one of the best known muscle cars on the planet. Again, as a muscle car, it also doubles as an expensive toy for amateur racing enthusiasts who like to take their car out for week races. That being said, it's crucial to have a good anti-theft device and that's just what Dodge gave them. The new device, referred to as just 'Security Mode' decreases the Charger and Challengers output to just 2.8 horsepower if the wrong code is entered.
9. Ford F Series Full Size Pickup
The Ford F-Series claims the title of being the best selling vehicle for around 44 years. So, since there is an undisputed connection between the most vehicles stolen and the most vehicles sold, it's only natural that this is the number one champ among stolen vehicles. if you've got your eye on next years F-150 Lightening, best consider picking up some additional anti-auto theft add-ons. Currently, the trucks come with their own security system which is controlled by the key fob. If a thief tries to use an unauthorized fob, the engine will not start.
Some Jeep Grand Cherokee's are equipped with an anti-theft system which immobilizes the engine if the incorrect key is used. These popular mid-sized SUV's are undoubtedly on the list to be stolen purely based on their popularity with chop shops. When these parts are scavenged they can be sold for cheap. Remember, if the economy is less than healthy, desperate people needing to fix their vehicles might not care where the part comes from. This 5 seat SUV can do it all, from providing comfortable highway travel to off-road adventuring, with the Trackhawk providing weekend explorers with 707 horsepower!
7. Hyundai Elantra
As you can guess, the Hyundai Elantra is a pretty popular passenger vehicle. Its contours are smooth and exciting, almost European but not quite. A gorgeous, cost effective car that now comes in a hybrid model. With popular cars comes a need for cheap parts, and that's where its anti-theft system comes in handy. The factory installed system will sound an alarm if the door is opened using the wrong key, same with the trunk and hood. Again, if you wish to, you could probably add an aftermarket alarm device as well.
6. Toyota Camry
For around 20 years, guess which vehicle got the award for being one of the most stolen cars in America? If you said Toyota Camry, then you were right on the dot. That's also why anyone who has a Camry or is thinking of purchasing one, had best look into anti-theft security. That being said, it does come with an excellent, factory installed anti-theft system which is basically an engine immobilizer. The Camry comes in 10 trims, good safety features and infotainment system, as well as being easy to handle, responsive to the driver, and comfortable interior.
5. RAM Truck
While consumers still think of RAM as part of the Dodge line of pickups, it actually separated from Dodge some time ago. Now the trucks are made by Stellantis North America, making RAM trucks a brand of its own. Recipients of Motor Trends Truck of the Year award a total of eight times exhibited the high performance quality of these trucks. As such, RAM became a target for car thieves. Modern RAMs will not allow unauthorized entry if the incorrect key is used. However, there's nothing wrong with looking for aftermarket anti-theft devices made especially for your RAM. These include stealth touch switches, keyless entry, remote start, and so on.
4. Chevy Malibu
The Malibu is the only sedan sold by Chevy, and has been around since 1964. As with many sedans, theft rate is pretty high which is why top automotive expert recommends you take extra care with your Malibu such as add GPS trackers, steering locks, and immobilizers. Most if not all of these accessories can be found on the web. The factory installed anti-theft system for the Malibu is an anti-theft system control module. Here, if the wrong key is inserted, alarms will sound and the vehicle's engine will not start.
3. Toyota Corolla
There are three steps to keeping your Toyota safe from thieves. First, employ the alarm which was installed at the factory. Second, perform VIN Etching. This is where you take your vehicle identification number and etch it into the windshield glass. Thirdly, invest in a good GPS tracking system. Always remember, both the Camry and Corolla are desired for parts, so be aware and take precautions.
2. Chevy Silverado
The Chevy Silverado is a very popu lar vehicle because it's dependable, reliable and affordable. Simply that. While that's all well and good, being a popular vehicle also puts you in the sights of vehicle thievery. Did you know that the Silverado pickup made the National Insurance Crime Bureau's top 10 in 2019? Chevy is totally aware of this problem and has armed its trucks with factory installed security. However, as previously noted, it's always a good idea to visit a few aftermarket accessory pages online, and look for additional alarms, kill switches, etc.
1. Nissan Altima
The Nissan Altima became a top target for car thieves not only because it was popular, but its system was easy to hack. That's right, once word got out that you could easily hack their security system, the fun began. According to the FBI, car thieves refer to the device as a 'mystery device' and call it a 'Relay Attack'. So, here you have the situation where one of Americas most popular cars can be hacked by a "mystery device". NICB's president Joe Wehrle states, "...Unless someone catches the crime on a security camera, there's no way for the owner or the police to really know what happened." The best route to take is to talk to your dealer and/or visit a trusted site which sells aftermarket alarms especially for the Nissan Altima.
There it is, a list of the most stolen cars in America. When it comes to car theft, popularity is a curse, and so is a vehicle owner that ignores the importance of protecting their car. Let's just say don't depend on factory installed alarm systems to be perfect, because as we've seen with the Nissan Altima, car thieves are a smart bunch, and if they want a car, they'll figure out a way to get it. After all, it's money in the bank for them. So, remember to bring this up to your dealer. Ask them how their factory installed systems work, and what advice they have for adding on any other devices. A vehicle is a huge investment, so it pays to be on the safe side.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith