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Top 10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Billings

Here's what you need to know...
  • Full-size pickups are the most stolen vehicles in Montana
  • Comprehensive plans may cover the expenses associated with getting a stolen car out of impound
  • Car theft is a growing problem in Billings, MT

Billings, MT, is 99 percent urban with a population of roughly 108,000 people. It’s experienced rapid growth over the last 16 years, and it has a healthy economy.

However, it also has higher insurance premiums, in part due to problems with auto theft. Here’s what you should know about car thefts and insurance in this popular city.

If you are also looking for auto insurance to safeguard your car in Billings, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

A Pattern of Car Theft


According to reformed thieves, some targets are simply more appealing than others. Driveways and the fronts of homes are too wide open, but parking garages are ideal. Large parking garages provide thieves with a great choice of options, and the quiet atmosphere makes it easier to hear someone coming.

Some models also come with valet keys, and car thieves know what they are and where to find the keys. If you’re buying a new car, ask about this type of key and make sure that you remove it from the vehicle.

Excellent deterrents include:

  • Noisy neighbors
  • Security cameras
  • Good alarms
  • Kill switches

Finally, avoid leaving the car running as this makes any model an exceptionally easy target.

It’s also important to note that car thefts are on the rise in Billings.

Some vehicles are stolen directly off car lots while others are taken from consumers.

It’s important to remember that the area you live in can make a difference. Neighborhoods with higher crime rates will also have higher insurance premiums. Even if you’ve chosen a house or apartment in a quiet part of town, you’re still at risk for theft. You can

You can protect yourself by:

  • Always locking your car, even when it’s parked in your driveway
  • Keeping shrubs trimmed back to minimize hiding places
  • Parking in the driveway rather than the street
  • Use motion-detector lights to illuminate your car at night

10 Most Stolen Vehicles in Billings

Across the country, the Honda Accords and Civics are the most stolen cars. Next on the list are Ford and Chevy pickup trucks. The top ten can vary by state. Montana is no exception.

Montana’s 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

(Click here for an interactive chart)

In the Treasure State, the top 10 most stolen cars are as follows:

#10 — Ford Pickup (Small Size) 2000

Despite the small size, the Ford pickup trucks can still tow more than 5,000 pounds. Consumer reviews for the 2000 model were positive, and the truck still has an overall rating of 8.7 out of 10.

With so many on the road, it’s possible that 22 were stolen last year to help feed the parts market.

#9 — Toyota Camry 2015

The Camry has been America’s best-selling car, and it’s renowned for its quality construction and reliability.

Roughly 429,000 vehicles were sold in 2014, in part because of its 35 MPG highway driving and affordable entry-level pricing.

The excellent demand may explain why 23 Camrys were picked up by thieves in 2015.

#8 — Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size) 1995

The small Chevy pickup has seating for three in the cab and a powerful V8 engine that can tackle all kinds of challenges.

People still appreciate this model for its strength and reliability, and it still has a high rating with Kelley Blue Book. There is no chip in the key, so that makes it easier for people to steal and may explain why 24 people had their trucks stolen.

#7 — Ford Explorer 1996

This full-size sports utility vehicle has been around since 1991, and it’s still popular with consumers. Perhaps, as a result, there were 27 of these SUVs taken last year.

With seating for four and a good deal of cargo room, it has 160 horsepower and can accelerate from 0 – 60 in 10.5 seconds.

#6 — Chevrolet Impala 2001

The Impala is another best seller, and that helps explain why 31 Impalas were stolen in Billings last year. It’s likely that these cars are being sold on the black market for parts, although some criminals may be more interested in the fact that this car can seat five to six people and gets 26 combined MPG.

#5 — Honda Accord 1994

This late model car may seem like a surprising addition to the list, but 52 cars were stolen last year. While the Honda gets good gas mileage and is a solid little family car, the real value is in the parts.

The fuel line alone can sell for a few hundred dollars, and that makes this vehicle very attractive to thieves. Another problem is that Hondas are easily stolen with a ground-out key.

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#4 — GMC Pickup (Full Size) 2008

The 2008 GMC has chiseled looks that consumers love, and the split-folding backseat helps it stand out among the competition. This may contribute to the popularity of this truck among criminals. In 2015 alone, 55 of the trucks were stolen.

#3 — Dodge Pickup (Full Size) 2006

In 2015, there were 78 full-size Dodge trucks stolen, and this may be a reflection of how popular the Dodge Ram line is. Although Dodge did use chip-protected keys in 2006, criminals continue to target these cars for the parts.

#2 — Ford Pickup (Full Size) 1995

Coming in at number two, there were 145 of these Fords stolen. In addition to being a hot target in Billings, it was also one of the most stolen models in Iowa in 2014. Officials believe that this model is targeted by chop shops for the used parts market.

#1 — Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 1999

With 165 models stolen last year, the 1999 Chevy truck takes the top spot in Billings. It’s also one of the most stolen models in Kentucky and Indiana, and professionals believe that the cars are being shipped overseas for sale.

Steps You Can Take to Avoid Car Theft

There are steps you can take to make your vehicle less appealing to chop shops. When you make it harder or more time-consuming to breach the interior and start the car, you improve the chances that criminals will choose another target.

Here’s what the experts recommend doing:

  • Keep your car locked and take the keys with you.
  • Choose well-lit areas and attended lots when possible.
  • Store valuables out of sight.
  • Park with wheels turned towards the curb so that they cannot use a tow truck.
  • Back rear-wheel drive cars into the driveway to make them harder to tow.
  • Use the emergency brake when parking.
  • Store a copy of the registration in your wallet so that you’ll never have to leave title or registration in the car.
  • Make your car less enticing to thieves by having body parts chemically etched with your VIN.

If you’re considering saving money by dropping your comprehensive coverage, then make sure that you’re doing everything you can to prevent car theft.

Even on an older model car, an alarm and kill switch are great for protecting your investment.

You can also keep your comprehensive coverage and still save by shopping around for better rates.

Car Thieves in Billings Taking Desperate Measures


In August of 2015, a used car dealer in Billings asked the police to look into a string of car thefts. He had security footage of some of the thefts, including one vehicle that was run right through a chain-locked fence to get away.

According to the report:

  • An average of one to two car thefts happens in Billings every day
  • Some victims believe that the thieves are well-organized and that they’re monitoring our cars or dealerships ahead of time to learn patterns
  • On-Star if a helpful tool thanks to the tracking capabilities, but knowledgeable criminals will rip the units out of the cars

Car thefts remain a common occurrence in 2016. Police report that they often see the thefts as a crime of opportunity when garages are open or doors are unlocked. They remind drivers to keep valuables out of sight.

Find the Right Policy to Protect Yourself

If you have a car that’s high on the list for theft, then make the investment in deterrent systems that might allow you to avoid the heartache of having your car stolen.

There are several ways to save on your insurance premium, including asking about discounts. Take the time to shop around so that you can save even more on premiums.

Start comparison shopping today using our FREE online tool. Enter your ZIP code below to get started!


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