These cars and trucks are thieves’ biggest targets, national data shows

(NEXSTAR) – Thieves have switched up the vehicles they’re targeting most – and a social media trend may be to blame.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recalculated its list of most frequently stolen cars with new data from 2023. In years past, full-size pickup trucks tended to top the list, but that’s no longer the case.

The classic American pickup truck has been dethroned by a company sedan when it comes to which vehicle is most frequently stolen. In 2023, the Hyundai Elantra took the top spot with more than 48,000 thefts reported nationwide.

Hyundai and Kia combined make up six of the 10 most frequently stolen models. Thefts of those two companies’ cars have skyrocketed – as much as 1000% – since 2020, when videos showing how to take advantage of the cars’ vulnerabilities and steal them started spreading on TikTok.

Hyundai ended up creating pop-up “clinics” around the country to give owners of the affected vehicles anti-theft software upgrades. Kia also announced security upgrades at the end of 2023.

The 10 vehicles stolen most frequently in 2023, according to NICB, were:

Rank Make/Model No. of thefts in 2023
1. Hyundai Elantra 48,445
2. Hyundai Sonata 42,813
3. Kia Optima 30,204
4. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 23,721
5. Kia Soul 21,001
6. Honda Accord 20,895
7. Honda Civic 19,858
8. Kia Forte 16,209
9. Ford F150 Series Pickup 15,852
10. Kia Sportage 15,749

The NICB reports just over 1 million vehicles were reported stolen last year. The group gathered its data from the National Crime Information Center.

Vehicle theft has been on the rise recently, according to FBI crime data. To avoid becoming a target, the NICB recommends parking in well-lit areas, never leave your keys in your vehicle, don’t leave your car alone while it’s running, and hide any valuables out of sight.

If your car is stolen, report it right away to law enforcement and your car insurance company. Quick reporting can help track down the car. NICB data shows nearly half of stolen cars are recovered within two days.

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