The most popular vehicle among auto thieves in Connecticut for 2011 was the 1997 Honda Accord, followed by the 1998 Honda Civic, according to the latest report on vehicle thefts in this state by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Each year, the agency reviews auto theft records from police departments around the country to produce its national and state lists, called "Hot Wheels," of the 10 most-stolen vehicles.
Captain Geoffrey Morgan said while he does not have an analysis of the make and model of vehicles stolen in Branford, the rate of car thefts is down 25 percent this year to date, compared to last year but slightly up from 2010. In total, there have been 18 car thefts in Branford so far in 2012. In the same time period in 2011 there were 24 and in 2010 there were 16 thefts.
In its national list, the National Insurance Crime Bureau found that the top three most popular cars among auto theives in 2011 were the 1994 Honda Accord, the 1998 Honda Civic and the full-size 2006 Ford pickup.
The top 10 most stolen vehicles nationally in 2011 were evenly split among foreign brands and domestic. The most popular models among the domestic brands were Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet.
In Connecticut, seven of the top 10 most popular vehicles among auto thieves were foreign brands and three were domestic.
The good news, according to the “Hot Wheels” report, is that vehicle thefts in 2011 were once again on the decline. “Preliminary 2011 FBI crime statistics indicate a 3.3 percent reduction from the 737,142 thefts recorded in 2010. Vehicle thefts have not been this low since 1967,” the agency said in a press release.
“While overall thefts continue to decline, we are seeing a trend toward increases in the thefts of late model vehicles − ones that are theoretically harder to steal due to sophisticated key code technology,” NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle said in the release. “Today’s vehicle thieves are typically professional criminals who have figured out how to get the key code for a specific vehicle, have a replacement key made, and steal the vehicle within a matter of days.”
The Top 10 most stolen vehicles in Connecticut in 2011, according to the "Hot Wheels" report:Rank Vehicle Year 1. Honda Accord 1997 2. Honda Civic 1998 3. Acura Integra 1995 4. Nissan Maxima 1998 5. Toyota Camry 1999 6. Dodge Caravan 1999 7. Nissan Altima 2005 8. Toyota Corolla 1996 9. Ford Pickup (Full Size) 1997 10. Jeep Grand Cherokee 2000