NHTSA Theft Statistics Confusing, Scary
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its vehicle theft data for 2009, a list which details just how often an automobile is stolen based on its overall production numbers. This type of data sorting can often lead to some interesting conclusions that aren't necessarily back up by statistically significant data, especially with regards to just how likely an automobile is to be a victim of theft relative to the number that are actually sold in a given 12-month period.
For example, the 2009 Toyota Camry leads the list (which takes into account only passenger vehicles, not light trucks) in terms of the total number of vehicles stolen. This makes sense to even the most casual reader, as the Camry was also the best-selling automobile on the market for that particular year. However, the 2009 Audi S8, a high-end luxury sedan that saw just 227 examples sold in the United States for the period reported on by the NHTSA had the highest "rate of theft" and was therefore awarded the top spot on the list. This is despite the fact that of those 227 potential theft targets, only two were actually absconded with by criminals. How many Camrys were spirited away in the dead of night for 2009? 781, or roughly 390 times as many.