TUCSON, Arizona. (KOLD News 13) – The number of auto thefts in the US is the highest in nearly 15 years, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
We explore the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Arizona and which zip codes in Tucson are hotspots for hot wheels.
Vehicle thefts increase in the last three months of the year. Evidence shows that instead of targeting new cars and trucks, criminals are after early models.
The last data from the Tucson Police Department, 1,908 vehicles have been reported stolen so far this year, a 4.7% decrease from 2021’s total of 2,002 so far.
It’s not actually the nice people who are most often targeted, it’s what some consider “clunkers”.
“This GMC Sierra is one that you would normally see stolen because it doesn’t have the same anti-theft devices as a new vehicle, like the jeep next to it,” said Cody Warren of the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force. “It contains minimal electronics. That makes it very easy for the car thieves to take with them.”
Stolen cars can be traded for drugs or other stolen property, driven across borders, and resold or broken down for valuable used car parts.
“I’m really surprised, I would think it’s the newer models. I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla and I wouldn’t think people would want an older car because it’s not a fancy new one,” said Mary Simpson. “So this is enlightening, I must say.”
Here are the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Arizona and the model year most stolen according to NICB:
1. 2006 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
2. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full Size)
3. 2000 Honda Civic
4. 1997 Honda Accord
5. 2000 GMC pickup (full size)
6. 2001 Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
7.Nissan Altima 2015
8. 2016 GMC Savana
8. 2007 Toyota Camry
9. 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe
10. 2013 Ford Econoline E450
In 2021, more than 1,500 Chevrolet pickups were stolen in Arizona.
Chevy and Ford pickups also took the top two spots nationally, with nearly 100,000 total thefts.
Are you surprised to learn that your vehicle is among the most stolen not only in Arizona but in the country?
“I’m actually not surprised. It’s an older model and easier to break into than the new ones that have alarm systems,” said Kimberly Alvarado, owner of an older model F-150.
So where in Tucson do thieves strike most often?
Tucson Police South Division saw 563 reports of vehicle theft, while the West Division has 521 so far this year. Those include the 85706 zip code north of the Tucson airport and the 85705 zip code near Tucson Mall.
“Often we have vehicles that are stolen with firearms. The firearms are never recovered and it increases the risk to law enforcement,” Warren said. “Plus, it puts guns on the streets of Tucson.”
To protect yourself and your vehicle, roll up your windows, close your doors and take the keys or key fob with you.
Park in well-lit areas or areas with security personnel.
Park vehicles in a garage at home. If that’s not possible, consider installing motion-sensing security lights.
Thieves might think twice.
“I go to Phoenix every two weeks to visit my children and grandchildren. And I have a steady income,” Simpson said. “If I lost my car I really wouldn’t be able to get another one because of how expensive they are these days.”
The value of used cars is historically high. Up 35% in the past two years, according to NICB, due to inflation and supply chain issues.
If your vehicle is stolen, you should immediately report it to the police and your insurance company to increase the chances of recovery.
Click to see the full list of the most stolen vehicles by state here.
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