Top 10 Most Stolen Cars in the United States

first choice locksmith denver

Have you ever wondered why some cars seem to vanish off the streets more often than others? It might not just be your imagination.

Today, we’re diving into the world of auto theft, specifically looking at the top 10 most stolen cars in Denver and the United States.

From compact sedans to hefty trucks, we’ll explore why these models are irresistible to thieves and offer you locksmith-approved tips to keep your vehicle safe.

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Why Cars Get Stolen

What makes a car an easy target for thieves? It often comes down to opportunity and reward.

Cars that are easy to break into, start, and disappear with — all without drawing attention — are the prime targets. Let’s uncover how technology plays a role in this.

Top Stolen Cars in the US and Colorado
Car Make & Model In the US In Colorado
Hyundai Elantra 48,446 1,325
Hyundai Sonata 42,814 1,036
Kia Optima 30,205 784
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 23,722 1,282
Kia Soul 21,002 649
Honda Accord 20,896 N/A
Honda Civic 19,859 686
Kia Forte 16,210 N/A
Ford F-150 15,853 1,014
Kia Sportage 15,751 976
Ford F-250 N/A 809
Hyundai Tucson N/A 751

Over 32,000 vehicles were reported stolen in Colorado in 2023, a 20% decrease from 2022.

Passenger cars and SUVs were the most commonly stolen vehicle types, followed by pickup trucks and motorcycles.

Denver had the highest number of auto thefts but also the most recoveries among Colorado cities.

The Iole of Technology

Modern cars come equipped with sophisticated systems intended to prevent theft, such as keyless entry and ignition.

However, these technologies can sometimes make cars easier to steal if thieves acquire the right tools.

For example, devices that can intercept or mimic the signal from car keys are increasingly common in the hands of sophisticated criminals.

Top 10 Most Stolen Cars

stolen kia cars in denver

No. 10 – Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is popular among thieves due to its ubiquity and the simplicity of bypassing older models’ security systems.

stolen ford f 150

No. 9 – Ford F-150

As America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150 is always in high demand, both in legitimate markets and on the black market.


stolen hyundai sonata

No. 8 – Kia Forte

The compact Kia Forte is another favorite, likely because of common security vulnerabilities across models.

stolen honda civic usa

No. 7 – Honda Civic

The Civic’s long-standing popularity ensures that parts are always in demand, making these cars particularly attractive to chop shops.

honda accord theft level

No. 6 – Honda Accord

Similar to the Civic, the Honda Accord is targeted for its valuable parts and the ease of resale.

stolen kia in usa

No. 5 – Kia Soul

The Kia Soul’s standard key fob system has been exploited by thieves using simple signal-boosting devices.

stolen chevrolet silverado

No. 4 – Chevy Silverado

The sheer volume of Chevy Silverados on the road makes them a frequent target, with specific models being more vulnerable due to less advanced anti-theft features.

stolen kia in usa

No. 3 – Kia Optima

The Kia Optima’s security system has not evolved significantly over the years, maintaining a level of vulnerability that thieves exploit.

stolen civic usa

No. 2 – Hyundai Sonata

This mid-sized sedan is often stolen for its parts, which are interchangeable with other models in the Hyundai lineup.

stolen elantra usa

No. 1 – Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra tops our list as it combines ease of theft with high resale value of parts, making it a goldmine for car thieves.

Mobile Locksmiths: Unintended Victims in Car Theft Epidemics

In an unexpected twist in the narrative of car thefts, locksmiths have emerged as indirect victims of this crime wave.

Thieves are not only targeting vehicles but are also increasingly aiming at the tools of the trade used by locksmiths.

By stealing specialized equipment and programmers from locksmiths, these criminals gain the capability to unlock and start cars without needing the original keys.

Theft of Professional Equipment

A mobile locksmith nearby possesses a variety of sophisticated tools that can program car keys, bypass security systems, and unlock vehicles without causing damage.

These tools are invaluable for legal and professional purposes, but in the wrong hands, they provide a means to illicitly access nearly any vehicle.

The growing trend of targeting locksmiths’ vans, which are often left unattended during service calls, poses a significant risk not only to the livelihood of these professionals but also escalates the threat of vehicle theft.

Impact on Security Measures

The theft of locksmith tools complicates the battle against car theft. With original programming devices, thieves can create key fobs that allow them to bypass newer, more sophisticated vehicle security systems with alarming ease.

This capability makes it even more difficult for car owners to secure their vehicles, as the very tools designed to protect them are used against them.

Calls for Better Protections

In response to these incidents, there is a growing call among locksmiths and security experts for improved protection of their equipment.

Suggestions include enhanced security for service vehicles, such as better locks, alarm systems, and secure storage for high-value tools, as well as increased awareness and training on safeguarding equipment during and after work hours.

This disturbing trend highlights a critical vulnerability in the fight against car theft: protecting not only the vehicles but also the professional tools that can become instruments of crime if stolen.

As car thieves become more sophisticated, so too must the strategies to thwart them, starting with securing the essential tools of those who help keep our vehicles safe.

Car Locksmith Tips to Protect Your Car

To safeguard your vehicle:

  • Always use physical steering locks.
  • Install a vehicle tracking system.
  • Never leave your car keys in plain sight.
  • Consider smart car alarms that notify you on your phone.


While technology continues to advance, so do the methods of car thieves. Understanding why these specific cars are targeted and implementing strong protective measures can help keep your beloved vehicle safe from theft.

stolen cars faq by locksmith


Why are Kias and Hyundais so commonly stolen?

They often have similar key and lock mechanisms, making it easier for thieves to master and exploit.

What is the most common method used to steal cars?

Thieves typically use methods such as signal jamming, key cloning, or exploiting vulnerabilities in older key systems to steal cars.

Modern vehicles with keyless entry systems are not immune either, as hackers can intercept and replicate the signal.

Are newer models safer from theft?

Newer models usually have better security features, but they are not immune, especially if key fob signals can be hacked.

Can tracking devices help recover a stolen car?

Yes, tracking devices significantly increase the chances of recovering a stolen vehicle. Law enforcement can use the signal to locate and retrieve the car.

Is it worth investing in aftermarket car alarms?

Investing in high-quality aftermarket car alarms can deter thieves, as they often avoid cars with loud alarms and complex security systems.

Are there any specific times that car thefts are more likely to occur?

Yes, car thefts are more common at night or during times when vehicles are likely to be unattended for longer periods, such as holidays.

How can regular maintenance help prevent car theft?

Regular maintenance can ensure that all your vehicle’s security systems are functioning correctly. Faulty alarms or worn locks can make your car an easy target.

What should I do immediately if my car is stolen?

Report the car theft to the police to get a crime reference number. Then, inform your insurance company. The quicker you act, the higher the chance of recovering your vehicle.

How does the theft of these cars affect insurance premiums?

Owning a model that is frequently stolen can lead to higher insurance policy premiums due to the increased risk. It’s important to check with your insurance provider about potential impacts on your policy.

By understanding the traits that make these vehicles attractive to thieves and taking proactive steps to enhance your car’s security, you can reduce the likelihood of becoming the next victim of car theft.

Stay vigilant, and remember, the best protection combines common sense with advanced technology.

How has the rate of car theft in Colorado changed over the past decade?

According to the search results, the rate of car theft in Colorado has significantly increased over the past decade:

  • Colorado’s monthly motor vehicle theft rate has increased by 120.6% since 2019.
  • The motor vehicle theft rate per 100,000 residents reached an all-time high of 801.2 in 2022, up from 240.6 in 2014 – a 233% increase.
  • After remaining relatively stable from 2008-2014 with an average rate of 227.4 thefts per 100,000 residents, the rate began dramatically increasing in 2014.
  • In 2021, Colorado had the highest motor vehicle theft rate in the nation.
  • From 2015 through 2019, the number of motor vehicle thefts steadily increased each year in Colorado.

Key Points

  • The value of vehicles reported stolen in Colorado increased from $82.1 million in 2014 to $529.5 million in 2022 – a 545% increase.
  • Arrests for motor vehicle theft have not kept pace with the rising theft rate. The arrest rate per theft decreased from 15.5% in 2019 to just 9.4% in 2022.
  • A 2014 law that reduced penalties for motor vehicle theft is cited as a major factor behind the subsequent surge in thefts.
  • Legislation (SB23-097) is currently being considered to increase penalties again in an effort to combat the high theft rates.

In summary, Colorado has experienced a drastic upward trend in vehicle theft over the last decade, becoming the state with the highest rate nationally in recent years, which has been attributed in part to reduced penalties implemented in 2014.

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Henry Gel

Hello, The Denver Metropolitan Area Residents & Business Owners. If you are tired of locksmith scams & scammers that will rip you off - it's time to call First Choice Locksmith.

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