If you own an older Honda, be careful.

According to Hot Wheels, the 1994 Honda Accord and 1998 Honda Civic ranked first and second, respectively, as the most stolen vehicles of 2011.

Every year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) releases its Hot Wheels list of the top 10 most-stolen cars in the country. NICB generates this list based on car theft data submitted by local and state law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

In general, according to the NICB, 2011 saw an overall decline in national vehicle thefts; however, its 2011 Hot Wheels list clearly demonstrates an increase in late-model year thefts, as well as a combination of American-made and foreign models and makes.

The 2011 Hot Wheels Top 10 Most-Stolen Cars

1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1998 Honda Civic
3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full-Size)
4. 1991 Toyota Camry
5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
6. 1994 Acura Integra
7. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full-Size)
8. 2004 Dodge Pickup (Full-Size)
9. 2002 Ford Explorer
10. 1994 Nissan Sentra

According to the NICB, late-model year thefts of both foreign and American-made vehicles are on the rise because today’s car thieves are usually professionals who have determined how to obtain key codes for late-model year cars that utilized key code technology that was once considered quite sophisticated and advanced.

But the NICB notes that there are proven ways to protect your vehicle from being stolen, especially if you employ its “Layered Protection” method. The more layers of protection you use on your car, the more difficult it is to steal. And of course, depending on your vehicle make, model, model year, geographic location, budget and personal preferences, you can determine how many of the following layers of theft protection to use.

The NICB Layered Protection Approach

Use Common Sense – Using the following common sense techniques is the simplest and most budget friendly way to avert would-be car thieves:

• Secure your vehicle even if parking for brief periods.
• Always remove your keys from the ignition.
• Always lock your doors and close your windows.
• Park in well-lit areas.

Use Warning Devices – To add a second layer of car theft protection, employ a visible or audible warning device. Second-layer warning devices include:

• Audible alarms
• Steering column collars
• Steering wheel/brake pedal locks
• Brake locks
• Wheel locks
• Tire locks/tire deflators
• Theft deterrent decals
• Identification markers in or on your vehicle
• Window etchings
• Micro dot markings

Use Immobilizing Devices – To add a third layer of car theft protection, utilize an immobilizing device that prevents would-be thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring your car. Examples include:

• Smart keys (drivers keep key fobs in their pockets to lock, unlock and start the vehicles)
• Kill switches
• Fuse cut-offs
• Starter, ignition and fuel disablers
• Wireless ignition authentication

Use Tracking Devices – Lastly, the fourth layer of protection involves using a tracking device that emits a signal to law enforcement or monitoring services that someone is stealing your vehicle. Remote tracking devices, such as combined GPS and wireless telematic systems, have proven very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles.

For more information about protecting yourself from auto theft, visit the NICB’s Web site at www.nicb.org.




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