Florida car thieves’ biggest targets: Is yours at risk?

Posted by on Oct 15, 2011 | 0 comments

Attention, 2000 Honda Civic owners: Your car is the most popular model in Florida with a select group of automotive enthusiasts: Car thieves.

This may come as a surprise to fans of films like “Gone in 60 Seconds,” where professional crooks exclusively target high-end vehicles like Ferraris and Lamborghinis. But Frank Sciafidi, public affairs director for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which monitors auto theft trends and data, says this isn’t unusual: Most stolen cars are older models, which are, as you would expect, easier to steal than newer vehicles with increased theft-prevention technology.

In fact, the second most-stolen car in Florida is even older than that 2000 Civic – a 1996 Honda Accord.

That said, it doesn’t mean that if you have a newer, high-end vehicle, you should be complacent, especially in Florida, where easy access to coastal shipping points creates opportunities for more sophisticated thieves to steal vehicles for export.

“And if you have the wherewithal to ship stolen cars, you aren’t going to screw around with a 1992 Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. The market for that kind of theft is going to be high-end, high-dollar cars,” Scafidi says. “When we do find these containers sitting on the dock waiting for export, and something in the paperwork triggers a closer look, we open it up, and guess what? You might find 15 stolen vehicles inside, everything from Cadillac Escalades to Mercedes to BMWs – usually late-model, because that’s where the cash is.”

The top 10 most-stolen cars in Florida:

1. 2000 Honda Civic

2. 1996 Honda Accord

3. 2010 Toyota Camry

4. 1997 Nissan Altima

5. 2006 Ford F-150

6. 2000 Dodge Caravan

7. 2005 Dodge Ram

8. 1996 Nissan Maxima

9. 2010 Toyota Corolla

10. 2006 Ford F-350


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