Top 10 Stolen Cars of 2010

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©élène Vallée

Expensive luxury cars with full features can be enticing for those in the market for a new vehicle. They can be symbols of status, rewards for hard work and can make the slog of a morning commute more comfortable. But according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), those luxury cars are also more prone to being stolen.

Each year, the HLDI releases information on auto thefts in the United States. Among other statistics, the group calculates the most stolen car makes and models in a given year, based on how many of every 1,000 insured cars are reported stolen. The group limits its study to late model cars, in the case of the most recent study, models from 2007 to 2009. The data also includes only cars for which insurance claims are paid. The latest findings? Theft rates for the top 10 most stolen vehicles are three to five times higher than the average theft rates for all vehicles [source: Highway Loss Data Institute]. And in 2010, the list was dominated by flashy, fully-loaded SUVs and pickup trucks.

Since most car thieves either re-sell stolen cars illegally, or dismantle them in illegal "chop shops" and sell them for parts, more expensive cars usually draw their attention [source: Statistics Canada]. So which cars made the top 10 stolen cars list in 2010? Well, don't expect to see many sensible compact cars or fuel-efficient minis featured.