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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), a non-profit organization created by the insurance industry to address insurance-related crime, publishes an annual report called Hot Wheels to identify America’s 10 most stolen vehicles. This year, the NICB introduced a special issue called Hot Wheels Classics, which focuses on a specific model with historical significance.
For its first Classics report, NCIB had chosen to go with the iconic Ford Mustang Pony Car. Although Memphis Raines could never steal the “Eleanor” Shelby Mustang GT500 without engaging in a wild car chase, NCIB’s records reported that thieves have successfully stolen a total of 611,093 Mustangs from 1964 to 2011. While data for each year is available, years prior to 1981 may not be accurate as effective vehicle identification numbers (VIN) protocols were not formalized until 1981, according to NCIB.
Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standardized VIN in 1981, the NCIB indicated that a total of 411,155 Mustangs have been reported stolen through 2011. The most thefts occurred in 1981 when 20,708 Mustangs were stolen. In 2011, the number of thefts have fallen to 4,347.
From 2001-2011, the past decade indicated that the model year which suffered the most thefts is the year 2000 Mustang at a total of 7,085, followed by the 1995 model year at 6790 thefts, and then the 1998 Mustang at 5394 thefts. All in all, the top 10 most stolen model years concentrated on Mustangs produced from 1989 to 2004. What’s more, the top 10 most stolen model years alone account for nearly 50 percent of all Mustang thefts that have occurred in the past decade.
To help Mustang owners to protect their prized pony cars, NCIB suggests owners to start with a little common sense by locking the car before leaving it on the street. Theft deterrent technologies such as warning devices and immobilizing devices can further improve upon the vehicle’s security. Finally, if a Mustang manages to get stolen anyway, a tracking device will dramatically increase its chances of recovery.
GALLERY: Ford Mustang GT
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released their list of the top 10 stolen cars for 2009 , and the perenial favorites, the Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry are in the Top 10 yet again, taking the top 3 spots respectively.
The trade in spare parts, and in the Honda’s case, engines, make them valuable commodities, and the cars are also desirable for export to Third World countries. Pick-up trucks were also in demand, as each of the Big Three’s brands were represented, as well as the Ford Explorer.
The good news is that car thefts are down 17.1 percent, and have been declining for the past 6 years.