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Hot Wheels: Vehicle Theft Continuing to Decline

Seven of Top Ten Models Stolen are Import Vehicles

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Des Plaines, IL – Hot Wheels 2008, the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) companion study to its annual Hot Spots auto theft report examines data reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most reported stolen in 2007.

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For 2007, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were:
1.  1995 Honda Civic
2.  1991 Honda Accord
3.  1989 Toyota Camry
4.  1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup
5.  1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup
6.  1994 Acura Integra
7.  2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
8.  1994 Nissan Sentra
9.  1988 Toyota Pickup
10.  2007 Toyota Corolla

The NICB study confirms that theft of older model vehicles has remained constant for the past several years. 

Thieves continue to target these vehicles because they provide the best market for stolen vehicle parts.
On a positive note, the FBI preliminary Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data reveals that motor vehicle theft is headed for an 8.9% decrease in 2007.  The final data will be released later this year.

"The continuing national decrease in vehicle theft is a positive sign that the fight against vehicle theft by law enforcement, the insurance industry and the NICB continues to be effective," said Robert M. Bryant, NICB’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

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Adding to its arsenal of weapons in the fight against fraud and theft, the NICB has expanded its popular VINCheckSM feature. This popular consumer protection service now includes information on vehicles that have been declared "total losses" by participating NICB member insurance companies.  Unrecovered stolen vehicle data and flood vehicle data is also available through VINCheck.

"Our goal is to help prevent innocent people from buying a stolen vehicle and to help recover stolen vehicles that may enter the commerce stream in the future.  We are also striving to protect them against fraudulent used car sales and potentially deadly accidents by driving unsafe vehicles, " Bryant said.

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A Layered Approach to Protection:
To protect their investment, vehicle owners are urged to follow NICB’s "layered approach" to auto theft prevention by employing simple, low-cost suggestions to make their vehicles less attractive to thieves.  NICB’s four layers of protection are:

Common Sense:  The cheapest form of defense is to simply employ the anti-theft devices that are standard on all vehicles: locks.  Lock your car and take your keys.

Warning Device:  Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.

Immobilizing Device:  "Kill" switches, fuel cut-offs, and smart keys are among the devices which are high and low tech, but extremely effective.  Generally speaking, if your car won’t start, it won’t get stolen.

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Tracking Device:  Some systems use GPS to track your vehicle.  Others use radio frequency technology and help law enforcement track and recover it quickly.

And, always check in with VINCheck before buying a used vehicle.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation’s premier not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness.

You can help stop this criminal activity by reporting fraud and vehicle theft to NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).  You could be eligible for a reward.  You may also report fraud and theft by visiting our Web site.

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* This report reflects only stolen vehicle data reported to NCIC in 2007.  No further filtering of information is conducted, i.e., determining the total number of a particular make and model currently registered in the U.S. for comparison purposes.

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