The vehicle thieves target most often in Washington is the 1992 Honda Accord, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual Hot Wheels Report.
The 2011 Top 10 most stolen list for Washington includes vehicle years ranging from 1991 to 2003. According to NICB, certain models of older cars and trucks are popular with thieves because of their longevity and the value of their parts, plus they are easier to steal. Newer and more expensive vehicles often have more sophisticated alarms and anti-theft systems and frequently are stolen to be resold intact or shipped overseas.
Washington continues to be a hotbed for car thieves. Recently released NICB statistics show Spokane ranked fourth-highest in the nation for auto theft rates again this year while Yakima jumped five places from tenth to fifth. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area jumped to 12th from 13th and leads the state with 54 percent of all auto thefts, increasing nearly 18 percent since 2009.
Here is a list of Washington’s most stolen vehicles, according to NICB's 2011 statistics:
1. 1992 Honda Accord
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1995 Acura Integra
4. 1990 Toyota Camry
5. 1996 Subaru Legacy
6. 1992 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)
7. 1994 Nissan Sentra
8. 1995 Saturn SI
9. 1991 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Small Size)
10. 2003 Toyota Corolla
NW Insurance Council and NICB offer the following tips to help you reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen:
• Keep your doors locked and windows completely rolled up.
• Remove keys from the ignition, even when briefly stepping away from your car.
• Keep valuable items such as bags, purses, cell phones and briefcases out of sight.
• Always park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
• Always activate your vehicle’s security or alarm system when parked.
• Before buying a new vehicle, check with your insurance company to find out which vehicles have the highest risk of being stolen.