1994 Honda Accord is the most-stolen vehicle in the U.S.

The 1994 Honda Accord was the most-stolen vehicle in the U.S. in 2011. (Los Angeles Times / August 24, 2012)

The car stolen most often in the U.S. last year – as it has been for the fourth year in a row – is the 1994 Honda Accord, according to the annual Hot Wheels report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Next, thieves like to go for a 1998 Honda Civic, according to the report from the nonprofit group, which focuses on theft and insurance fraud prevention. Honda vehicles have been the two most popular autos for such criminals since 2005.  

For the first time in at least a decade, the Toyota Camry wasn’t among the top three. In 2011, the third most-stolen car was a full-size 2006 Ford pickup. The 1991 Camry came in fourth.

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Rounding out the top 10, in order, were the 2000 Dodge Caravan, the 1994 Acura Integra, the 1999 Chevrolet pickup, the 2004 Dodge pickup, the 2002 Ford Explorer and the 1994 Nissan Sentra.

Hot Wheels collects data about vehicles reported stolen to law enforcement, regardless of insurance status. Based on early figures, thefts in 2011 fell 3.3% from the 737,142 cars purloined in 2010 – hitting the lowest point since 1967.

But crooks may also be getting more tech-savvy, with more thefts of late-model vehicles.

Those are the ones “that are theoretically harder to steal due to sophisticated key code technology, said NICB Chief Executive Joe Wehrle in a statement.  

In California, the car most often stolen was also the 1994 Honda Accord, followed by the 1998 Honda Civic and the 1991 Toyota Camry.

Fourth was the 1994 Acura Integra, with the 2004 Chevrolet pickup, the 2006 Ford pickup, the 1994 Nissan Sentra, the 2010 Toyota Carolla, the 1997 Nissan Altima and the 1988 Toyota pickup 4x2 coming next.

Beware car thefts in the coming season: Though Christmas Day is the holiday with the fewest reported vehicle thefts, New Year’s Day sees the most. Memorial Day, Halloween and Labor Day are also rife with incidents.

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