Terrible Truck Tales
Where your stolen car is headed in Houston
Truck drivers and Honda-lovers beware! The Houston Police Department released its latest list of the 10 most stolen vehicles (for the month of August).
Topping the list? Chevrolet Trucks with 113 reported thefts. Second are Ford Trucks (107), then it's Honda cars (106), Dodge trucks (87), Dodge cars (49), Ford cars (42), Chevrolet cars (38), Toyota cars (37), Nissan cars (28) and Buick cars (20).
Contrary to what would seem like common sense, new vehicles are not the most widely stolen cars. Instead, thieves mostly prefer cars from the 1990s, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB).
The most recent NICB “Hot Wheels” report ranked the 1995 Honda Civic as the most popular model among thieves. Certain cars and SUV models are about five times more likely to be stolen than your average vehicles, a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found. It gets worse: owners of these comon-theft cars will have to pay more to insure those vehicles.
It seems counterintuitive that the cheapest cars are the most coveted. If I were to steal a car I’d want something fun to drive, maybe a sporty Porsche.
But criminals don’t think this way. Many stolen cars aren’t ever driven. Instead, they are salvaged for parts in chop-shops. As one of the most popular cars in the U.S., Honda Civic parts are in high demand.
Reliability plays a key role as well. Some stolen vehicles make it as far south as Ecuador and Guatemala. There a plush leather interior and a rocking stereo are of little importance. Drivers crave longevity over luxury. Anyone who’s ever moved apartments without money to rent a U-Haul knows the utility of a pickup truck.
Surprisingly, color also affects the likelihood of theft. Having a vehicle in silver, black and white might make your car a bigger target, according to the DuPont Color Popularity Report.
If more than 600 car thefts in a month seems a little high to you, well, it is. According to fbi.gov recent data Texas comes in above the national average in car thefts, numbering 392.8 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants versus the national average of 314.7 per 100,000.
For concerned motorists, the NICB offers a long list of tips for protecting your vehicle. I’ll sum them up for you here: Don’t be an idiot. Lock your doors. Take your keys with you. Set the alarm. Park in a well-lit area or a garage, if possible.