The Corvette’s popularity extends beyond hard-working Americans—it’s also popular among car thieves. From 1981 to 2011, the 1984 Chevy Corvette proved the most-stolen model year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Overall, 90,427 Corvettes were stolen in the U.S. and Puerto Rico during those 30 years.
Not surprisingly, 1984 was also the model year of the new C4 Corvette and, with 51,547 produced, more widely available than any other model year before or since. Though 8554 1984 Chevy Corvettes were stolen from 1981 through 2011, 1981 Corvettes were reported stolen at a higher percentage of total production, with 8262 stolen units representing 20 percent of that model year’s original production.
Seventy percent of stolen Corvettes can be linked to just 10 states with California topping the list at 14,002 reported thefts between 1981 and 2011. Florida and Texas follow with thefts in the 8000-unit range, with New York, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Missouri rounding out the top ten.
NICB recommends several common sense approaches for theft prevention such as parking in safe locations plus using theft deterrent and vehicle tracking devices. The Corvette isn’t the only high-profile GM vehicle sometimes targeted by thieves. With the Cadillac Escalade frequently appearing at the top of the Highway Loss Data Institute’s annual list of the most stolen vehicles in the U.S., the 2012 model year SUV added a stronger steering column-lock system, PASS Key 3+ system, and a special inclination sensor that sounds the SUV’s alarm if it senses a change in the vehicle’s angle.