A recent car theft study showed a list mainly of luxury vehicles, pickup trucks, and cars/ trucks with performance engines. Half of the 20 vehicles leading the likely-to-be-stolen list are also equipped with all-wheel drive. I’m not really sure what that is about, but for some reason, they are attractive to thieves.
The top of the list includes the Dodge Charger Hemi and Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The third vehicle on the list is the Infiniti Q50. These three vehicles are more than five times likely to be stolen than the average theft rate. The vehicles on the list tend to be pricey, have powerful engines or are pickups. There is also an element of opportunity involved in vehicle theft. For more about this, see my comments further down about the Teslas.
Car theft is more frequent even though newer cars are more theft-resistant than older vehicles. Many of the more modern cars come with push-button starting and fobs. Drivers will leave their fobs in the console or cup holder(I’m guilty) which makes them very easy to steal. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) compiles their stats comparing the vehicle sales to the actual number of vehicles stolen rather than just totals of each model. For this reason, you may see cars with lower sales numbers showing up on the most stolen list.
An unusual dropout from the most-stolen list is Cadillac’s Escalade, which used to top the most stolen vehicle list. Perhaps Cadillac’s antitheft features have had an impact or maybe the vehicle has more competition in that market segment.
Tesla’s Model S and Model X also have very low theft rates. HLDI speculates that the low theft rate is because they are typically parked either in garages or close enough to a house to reach an AC outlet or charger. Last years report also showed electric vehicles as having low theft rates. The BMW 3 Series headed the list of least likely to be stolen vehicles. Apparently car thieves aren’t into Beemers or as I heard BMW stood for “Bob Marley and the Wailers.”
Most frequently stolen 2016-2018 vehicles:
Dodge Charger HEMI
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
GMC Sierra 1500 crew-cab
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew-cab
Chrysler 300 four-wheel-drive
Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan AWD
Dodge Charger AWD
Dodge Durango AWD
Land Rover Range Rover
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew-cab 4WD
Nissan Titan crew-cab short bed
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Sierra 1500 crew-cab 4WD
Audi A7 AWD
Infiniti QX80 AWD
Sidenote – I’m surprised that Corvette didn’t make the most frequent list. I’m not sure why that is the case.
Least frequently stolen 2016-2018 vehicles:
BMW 3-series four-door
Tesla Model S AWD
Tesla Model X AWD
Chevrolet Equinox AWD
Buick Encore AWD
Subaru Legacy with EyeSight
Subaru Forester with EyeSight
GMC Acadia AWD
Volkswagen New Beetle
BMW 3 Series AWD
Subaru Outback with EyeSight
Subaru Crosstrek with EyeSight
Lexus RX 450h AWD
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Antitheft systems are not magic. You have to use them as the “fob” example above shows. More and better antitheft features are only as good as the people who use them. However, vehicles with manual transmissions will prevent almost all Millenials from stealing them.
Another part of the issue is simply location. Chicago, for example, has a reputation for criminals carjacking vehicles so that they can be used in the commission of another crime. Another problem is that thieves will ride around with a tow truck and snatch your vehicle out of your driveway or from a parking lot or street while you are working or shopping. Many stolen vehicles end up in other parts of the world where laws are not as rigorously enforced.