NICB’s top 10 most stolen cars in the U.S. for 2006
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NICB’s top 10 most stolen vehicles in the U.S. for 2006

By David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

In the time it takes you to read this blurb, an average of two vehicles will be stolen in the U.S. Three if you’re a slow reader. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a vehicle is stolen every 26.4 seconds.

What do thieves steal? Probably not what we’d steal if we were forced to. According to the NICB, the average value of each stolen vehicle is $6,649. Rather than looking for luxury, thieves are looking for practicality. They want vehicles they can strip easily to sell for parts. Which is why many of the cars on this list are over 10 years old.

This will come as no surprise to The Times’ own David Zahniser. His car has been stolen three times. And guess what? The model he drives (shown here) is on this list. Is your vehicle? Keep reading to find out.

For more information on NICB’s list visit their website.

And when you’re done, check out our Autos A-Z page. (Toyota)
The 1995 Honda Civic, such as the one pictured here, was the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. for 2006. This was the first iteration of the Civic in which Honda put it’s VTEC engine, which remains popular among car tuners today because it can be easily modified to produce significant amounts of power efficiently.

For more information on cars, check out our Autos A-Z page. (Honda Motor Co.)
Honda’s 1991 Accord ranked second on NICB’s list. If this is your ride and your park next to a Porsche at work, thieves are more likely to steal your car. Why? Ubiquity. During three of this model’s four years of production, it was the best-selling car in the U.S. (1990-1992), giving thieves a large audience to whom they can pilfer parts.

For more information on cars, check out our Autos A-Z page. (Honda)
The 1989 Toyota Camry was the third-most stolen vehicle in the U.S. for 2006.

Have a hard time imagining why thieves would want to steal a nearly 20-year-old sedan? Read Times reporter David Zahniser’s article Grand theft auto times 3 to hear how his 1989 Camry has been stolen three times.

Read more about Toyotas on our Autos A-Z page. (Toyota Motor Corp.)
Ford’s 1997 F-150 series pickup was the fourth-most stolen vehicle in the U.S. in 2006.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Blue Oval’s baby is on this list somewhere, given that the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle (of any kind ... car, truck, gas-powered unicycle) in the U.S. practically since Ford himself (Gerald, the terrible golfer) was president.

Read more about Ford vehicles on our Autos A-Z page. (Ford Motor Co.)
The 2005 Dodge Ram pickup was No. 5. It’s the newest vehicle on NICB’s list and some would argue it’s the only indication that auto thieves have any taste when it comes to what they’re purloining.

Read more about Dodge vehicles on our Autos A-Z page. (Chrysler)
1994 Chevy C/K 1500 pickups like this one were sixth on the NICB list for 2006.

Those who assume auto thieves have no heart should take note: This was the first model year Chevy’s truck featured a third brake light on the back of the truck’s cab for safety, and a revised CFC-free air conditioning system to benefit the environment.

As with the Honda Accord, the vehicle’s popularity during it’s production life (it was the most popular vehicle General Motors made at the time) may be a contributing factor to its popularity among those with sticky fingers.

Read more about Chevy vehicles on our Autos A-Z page. (General Motors Corp.)
The 1994 Nissan Sentra was the seventh-most stolen vehicle. It was this particular model with which Nissan first introduced the SE-R model to the U.S. market. This more-powerful version quickly became a favorite among tuners. The ’94 Sentra was also the last to feature an independent rear suspension, which allows for better handling.

Read more about Nissans on our Autos A-Z page. (Nissan Motor Co.)
The 1994 Dodge Caravan was the eighth on the list.

This second-generation family hauler and its siblings, the upscale Chrysler Town and Country and the economy-minded Voyager from now-defunt Plymouth, had sales of about 4 million vehicles in the 10 years since Chrysler literally invented the minivan in 1984.

Read more about Dodge vehicles on the Autos A-Z page. (Chrysler)
The 1994 Saturn SL was ninth on the list. This was the first model Saturn, owned by General Motors, ever produced. The SL models (the SL1, pictured here, and the SL2) were known for their excellent fuel economy and their dent-resistant panels, which were made from polymer.

Read more about Saturns on the Autos A-Z page. ()
Acura’s 1990 Integra was 10th on NICB’s list. 1990 was the first year of a redesign for the Integra that was warmly received by critics and drivers alike for its handling prowess. Looks like thieves shared their enthusiasm.

Read more about Acura vehicles on our Autos A-Z page. (Honda Motor Co.)