U.S. auto thieves love an Ohio-made car.
The Honda Accord, assembled in Marysville, was the most stolen vehicle in the country last year with 58,596 thefts, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said Tuesday in its annual “Hot Wheels” report.
The Honda Civic was second with 47,037.
Those Honda thefts involved older models, and newer Hondas rarely are stolen because of improved anti-theft technology, said the nonprofit group, which is supported by insurance companies and self-insured organizations.
In fact, older models are stolen more often.
“Older vehicles are just easier to steal right off the bat, and then the parts market is a more viable black-market operation for older cars, especially for Hondas and Toyotas because they last so darned long,” said Frank Scafidi, spokesman with the National Insurance Crime Bureau in Des Plaines, Ill.
The rest of the top 10 nationwide are the full-size Ford pickup, full-size Chevrolet pickup, Toyota Camry, Dodge Caravan, full-size Dodge pickup, Acura Integra, Nissan Altima and Nissan Maxima.
Overall, there were 724,672 thefts nationwide last year, according to preliminary data from the FBI. That’s well below the peak of 1.6 million in 1991.
Vehicle thefts are expected to rise 1.3 percent last year when final numbers are tallied, reversing an eight-year trend of declines.
The Ohio Insurance Institute in Columbus isn’t sure whether Ohio also will see an increase. Four of the state’s largest cities saw declines.
Vehicle thefts in Akron dropped 11 percent to 721 last year.
They also fell in Cleveland (8 percent), Cincinnati (14 percent) and Toledo (9 percent), but rose in Dayton (9 percent). Columbus data weren’t available.
One oddity is that Ohio’s most stolen list doesn’t match the nation’s.
“The cars that are the most popular across the country aren’t necessarily the ones we’re seeing in Ohio,” said Mary Bonelli, spokeswoman with the Ohio Insurance Institute. “The ones we’ve been seeing in Ohio really haven’t changed much over the last seven years.”
The Chevrolet pickup topped the 2012 list in Ohio, while the Dodge Caravan, Ford pickup, Buick Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera rounded out the top five.
The Honda Accord was tied for sixth with the Ford Taurus.
For the first time, the National Insurance Crime Bureau also reported the most popular 2012 models stolen nationwide. The top five were family sedans.
The Nissan Altima was first with 921 thefts. The Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion followed.
To read the full report, go to www.nicb.org.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.