1996 Honda Accord tops list for most stolen car in Virginia

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're driving an older Honda, you're a target for thieves. The list is out of the most stolen cars in Virginia. 

Honda Accords topped the list for 2009 which was put out by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Not the newer models. But Accords that are 14 years old. Thieves want them for the valuable parts.

People shell out thousands of dollars to add bells and whistles to their cars and not just brand new rides. RPM owner Kyler Calera said he's worked on dozens of older models at his shop on West Broad, including 1996 Honda Accords.

"When you can take a 1996 Honda Accord you paid a thousand dollars on the street, and for about 5 to 6 thousand dollars turn around and beat an $80,000 Corvette; it's a pretty exciting thing to do," said Calera.

But it's also last year's car of choice for thieves in Virginia, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. No surprise, said Calera.

"You can take the parts off and put it on other Hondas. The parts are very transferable," said Calera.

Replacement parts for Hondas can be expensive so people come to scrap yards to try to save a few bucks whereas criminals will rip them right off your car in the street.

"We have customers lock their keys in the car. I can get into a Honda in about ten seconds," said Calera.

According to Virginia State Police, over 76% of cars reported stolen in the state happen in Tidewater, Northern Virginia and Richmond. We spoke with one man who owns a 96 Accord.  He's shocked his car topped the list even with two hundred thousand miles on it.

Calera urges people to save themselves the heartache of becoming another statistic.

"Simple solution get an alarm. You can make it where it's theft proof," said Calera.

By the way, the most stolen car in the nation for 2009- also a Honda Accord, but the 1994 model.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.