LANSING (WWJ) – If you’re the owner of a 2000 Dodge Caravan or 2005 Chevrolet Impala, state police say you’re driving around in one of the most popular stolen vehicles in Michigan.

The statistics were released Wednesday by the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA), which awards grants to prevent auto theft and catch thieves.

The annual report revealed that car thefts in Michigan actually decreased by .03 percent from 2011 to 2012. The figure is a continuation of a downward trend that started in 2010-2011 reporting year, when there was a 6.8 percent decline in auto thefts.

“Our success in the battle against auto theft is the direct result of the dedication and efforts of the 110 men and women who are funded by grants awarded by the ATPA to Michigan law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorney’s offices and nonprofit community organizations,” Dan Vartanian, Executive Director of the ATPA, said in a statement.

According to the report, Michigan is bucking the national trend when it comes to auto thefts. From 1986 to 2012, auto thefts in Michigan dropped 65 percent. During that same time period, auto thefts nationally decreased by only 41 percent. In 2012, Michigan ranked 7th nationally with 24,973 auto thefts reported. California had the highest reported auto thefts at 168,608, followed by Texas with 64,996 and Florida with 37,330. The smallest number of auto thefts, 435, occurred in Vermont.

Click here to see the full report (.pdf format)

The report shows that in 2012, the most popular stolen vehicle in Michigan was a 2000 Dodge Caravan, followed by a 2005 Chevrolet Impala and a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu. Odds of those vehicles being stolen are even higher if they’re black, white or red in color. Those vehicles are even more likely to be targeted by thieves if it’s a Monday, Friday or Wednesday — especially during the months of August, October or September.

The majority of vehicles stolen in Michigan in 2012 (67 percent) were taken from Wayne County where 15,352 thefts were reported — 11,504 of which were out of Detroit. Macomb County was second with 1,950 thefts, followed by Oakland County with 1,850 thefts, and Genesee County with 952 thefts. The smallest number of auto thefts specified in the report, a total of 57, was reported in western Michigan’s Allegan County.

Outside of Detroit, Warren reported the second highest number of auto thefts in 2012 at 741. Flint fell in third place with 490 auto theft reports, followed by Southfield with 398, Redford Township with 372 and Dearborn with 359.

Here are additional highlights from the report:

2012’s Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Michigan vs. Nation

  1. 2000 Dodge Caravan — VS — 1996 Honda Accord
  2. 2005 Chevrolet Impala — VS — 1998 Honda Civic
  3. 2012 Chevrolet Malibu — VS — 2006 Ford Pick-Up
  4. 1999 Ford Taurus — VS — 1999 Chevrolet Pick-Up
  5. 5. 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix — VS — 1991 Toyota Camry
  6. 6. 1997 Chevrolet Pick-Up — VS — 2000 Dodge Caravan
  7. 7. 2006 Ford Pick-Up — VS — 2004 Dodge Pick-Up
  8. 8. 2012 Ford Fusion — VS — 1994 Acura Integra
  9. 9. 2000 Dodge Intrepid — VS — 1997 Nissan Altima
  10. 10. 1999 Pontiac Grand Am — VS — 1996 Nissan Maxima

2012 Thieves Favorite Choices– Color:

  1. Black
  2. White
  3. Red
  4. Blue
  5. Silver
  6. Green
  7. Gray
  8. Maroon
  9. Gold
  10. Tan

2012 Thieves Favorite Choices–

  1. August
  2. October
  3. September
  4. July
  5. June
  6. May
  7. November
  8. January
  9. December
  10. March

2012 Thieves Favorite Choices–

  1. Monday
  2. Friday
  3. Wednesday
  4. Thursday
  5. Tuesday
  6. Saturday
  7. Sunday

To avoid being a victim of auto theft, police recommend the following:

  • Never leave keys in the vehicle with the engine running.
  • Don’t hide a spare key in the vehicle.
  • Close all windows and lock all doors when leaving your vehicle.
  • Park in a well-lit area and, when at home, keep your vehicle in the garage.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible in your car, particularly those items that include information on your identity — thieves can drive off not only with your car, but your identity as well.

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