Ford Mustang Thefts: NICB Releases Complete History Of Stolen Mustangs

Posted by on January 31, 2012 - more

To most Mustang owners their Mustang is more than just a car, it’s a symbol of who they are and their cars are often as unique as they are. However, because the Mustang is such a cool car it is often stolen leaving Mustang owners devastated.

This past August the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its annual report titled Hot Wheels, in which it lists the top 10 most stolen cars in America.  However, the Mustang did not make an appearance on that list. We contacted NICB a few months ago to find out just how many Mustangs are stolen in a given year and thanks to them we now have that data.

However, before the data, we would like to show this video in which the NICB interviewed a former Marine who had his 1965 Shelby GT-350 Mustang stolen from him in 1982. Shortly after the car was taken, the young solider was deployed and never saw his Mustang again. That is until 2007 when an NICB agent contacted him with the news, they had found his car.

The Data
Although data for all years is available, confidence in pre-1981 records is low due to the inconsistency in reporting protocols and vehicle identification number (VIN) systems in use prior to 1981.

Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required VIN standardization beginning with the 1981 model year, that year is the oldest reliable data used in this report. Data prior to 1981 is provided for information only.

Overall, from 1981 through 2011, a total of 411,155 Mustangs were reported stolen. The most thefts occurred in 1981 (20,708) and the fewest in 2011 (4,347). You can download the complete data spreadsheet here.

Thefts vs. Sales
During the 30-year period from 1981-2011, a total of 4,110,110 Mustangs were sold in the United States. However, over the Mustang’s entire lifespan through the end of 2011, a total of 8,450,741 units have been sold in the United States. The single year with the most U.S. sales was 1966 with 549,436. Conversely, 2009 logged the fewest Mustang sales reaching only 66,623 units.

The table below shows us where the Ford Mustang ended up on the annual Hot Wheels report for the years 2001-2010. The trend shows that the Mustang is becoming less and less of a target every year. Good news for us Mustang owners.

Theft Year Hot Wheels Position Top Veh Year
2001 16 2000
2002 18 1995
2003 22 1995
2004 22 1995
2005 26 2000
2006 26 1995
2007 22 2000
2008 24 2000
2009 23 2000
2010 29 2000
The table below gives us a year-by-year look at the total Mustangs stolen for each given year. Since the Mustang has existed, a total of 611,093 have fallen victim to theft. (See note above about accuracy of pre-1981 records.)
Year Thefts
1964 2
1965 13
1966 44
1967 148
1968 1,018
1969 1,779
1970 2,959
1971 3,892
1972 14,146
1973 19,312
1974 22,705
1975 23,893
1976 23,241
1977 21,583
1978 20,556
1979 21,749
1980 22,898
1981 20,708
1982 18,393
1983 16,128
1984 14,734
1985 14,117
1986 14,611
1987 14,058
1988 15,117
1989 16,940
1990 17,165
1991 19,231
1992 19,485
1993 18,325
1994 16,624
1995 17,156
1996 15,732
1997 15,499
1998 13,676
1999 11,300
2000 11,004
2001 12,005
2002 11,434
2003 10,873
2004 10,220
2005 9,734
2006 8,748
2007 7,499
2008 6,048
2009 5,527
2010 4,717
2011 4,347
Total 611,093
The table below shows us what Mustang years have been stolen the most. The 2000 Ford Mustang tops the list with over 7,000 stolen.
Mustang Year Number of Thefts
2000 7085
1995 6790
1998 5394
2001 5103
2002 4226
2003 3966
1994 3949
2004 3234
1996 3045
1989 2629
1990 1784
2007 1741
2006 1484
1993 1242
2005 1147
1999 749
1988 700
2008 293
Thanks to the NICB for putting this together for us. You view the complete release on their website.


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