List reveals most stolen vehicles of 2015

DETROIT – The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported today that the 10 most stolen vehicles last year in Michigan and the United States were pickups, sedans and a minivan -- everyday vehicles used by families across America.

In Michigan, the 2007 small Chevrolet pickup topped the list with 916 thefts, followed by the 2004 Chevrolet Impala with 803 thefts, and 2002 Dodge Caravan, a minivan, with 803. The 2014 Ford Fusion was next, with 730 thefts, the full-size 2004 GMC Pickup with 528, the 2014 Ford Taurus with 513, the 2006 full-size Ford Pickup with 510, the 2000 Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee with 473, 2013 Chevrolet Malibu with 460, and the 2014 Dodge Charger with 450.

Nationally, the list did not track vehicles by year, but it was topped by the Honda Accord and Civic, with 51,290 and 43,936 thefts, respectively, the full-size Ford pickup with 28,680, full-size Chevy pickup with 23,196, Toyota Camery with 14,605, full-size Dodge pickup with 11,075, Dodge Caravan with 10,483, Nissan Altima with 9,109, Acura Integra with 6,902, and Nissan Maxima with 6,586.

"If you see your vehicle is on the list, take some extra precautions," said Terri Miller, executive director of Help Eliminate Auto Thefts, a Michigan nonprofit group that seeks to recover stolen cars.

Miller said that strategies to deter thefts -- extra locks and security systems, parking in a garage, and not leaving valuables in sight -- work, and she urged urged car owners to use them.

The theft data also show that despite conventional wisdom, targeted vehicles often aren't necessarily the most valuable, but those in high demand.

In some cases, Miller said, thieves will target minivans because they can take the seats out and then use them to steal other things. 

And while theft deterrent devices work, she said, in some cases criminals will steal cars by breaking the transmissions and push them up onto a flatbed truck and drive away.

Miller's simplest theft deterrent tip:

"If you have a garage, use it," she said. "We tend to put our junk in a garage and park our valuable vehicles outside."

Some other trends also emerged:

Popular vehicle models were popular among thieves. One of the biggest influences on which cars are stolen is the demand for them -- and their parts -- in the market, experts say.

In Michigan, domestic automakers were stolen more often than nationwide. That's because, for the most part, folks in the Midwest buy -- and want -- domestic brands.

And insurance companies tend to charge higher insurance premiums for vehicle models that are more frequently stolen.