Top 10 most stolen vehicles in Arizona, and Tucson zip codes where thieves are striking most

KOLD News 10-10:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 10:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Vehicle thefts in the U.S. are the highest they’ve been in nearly 15 years according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

We investigate the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Arizona, and which zip codes in Tucson are hot spots for hot wheels.

Vehicle thefts tend to increase during the last three months of the year. Data shows instead of targeting new cars and trucks, criminals are after early models.

The latest data from the Tucson police department shows 1,908 vehicles have been reported stolen so far this year, a 4.7% drop from the 2021 year-to-date total of 2,002.

It’s actually not the nice ones that are the most frequent targets, it’s what some consider to be “clunkers”.

“This GMC Sierra is one that you’d typically see stolen because it doesn’t have the same anti-theft devices that a new vehicle, like the jeep next to it would have,” said Cody Warren with the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force. “There’s minimal electronics that are in this. Which makes it really easy for the car thieves to take.”

Stolen cars can be traded for drugs or other stolen property, driven across the border and resold or broken down for valuable used car parts.

“I am really surprised, I would think it’s the newer models. I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla and I wouldn’t think people would want an older car because it’s not a jazzy new one,” said Mary Simpson. “So this is enlightening I have to say.”

Here are the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Arizona and the model year most often stolen according to NICB:

1. 2006 Chevrolet Pick-Up (Full Size)

2. 2006 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)

3. 2000 Honda Civic

4. 1997 Honda Accord

5. 2000 GMC Pick-Up (Full Size)

6. 2001 Dodge Pick-Up (Full Size)

7. 2015 Nissan Altima

8. 2016 GMC Savana

8. 2007 Toyota Camry

9. 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe

10. 2013 Ford Econoline E450

More than 1,500 Chevrolet pickup trucks were stolen in Arizona in 2021.

Chevy and Ford pick-ups also took the top two spots nationally, with nearly 100-thousand total thefts.

Are you surprised to know your vehicle is among the most stolen, not only in Arizona but in the country?

“I’m actually not surprised. It is an older model and easier to break into than the new ones that have alarm systems,” said Kimberly Alvarado who owns an older model F-150.

So where in Tucson are thieves striking most often?

Tucson Police South Division saw 563 vehicle theft reports, while the West Division has 521 so far this year. Those include the 85706 zip code north of the Tucson airport and the 85705 zip code near Tucson Mall.

“Quite often we have vehicles that are stolen with firearms. The firearms are never recovered and it increases the risk for law enforcement,” said Warren. “As well, it puts firearms on the streets of Tucson.”

To protect yourself and your vehicle, roll up your windows, lock your doors and take the keys or fob with you.

Park in well-lit areas or areas staffed by security.

Invest in a wheel lock device, like The Club. Or the Ravelco that is designed to prevent hot wiring.

While at home, park vehicles in a garage. If that’s not possible, consider installing motion sensor security lights.

Thieves may think twice.

“I go up to Phoenix every two weeks to visit my children and grandchildren. And I’m on a fixed income,” said Simpson. “If I lost my car I really wouldn’t be able to get another one because of how expensive they are nowadays.”

Used car values are at historical highs. Up 35% over the last two years due to inflation and supply chain issues according to NICB.

If your vehicle is stolen, report it to police and your insurance company right away to increase the chance of recovery.

To see the full list of the most stolen vehicles by state click here.