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Thieves' favorite ride? Cadillac Escalade

It's a peculiar form of honor, but America's car thieves have voted with their felonious feet to make the Cadillac Escalade No. 1 on the nation's most stolen list, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

The luxury SUV ranked first  with overall theft losses of $128 per  insured vehicle  per year -- compared with an average for all vehicles  of $14.  The theft losses  figure rises to $146 for the  Escalade EXT 4-door, 4-wheel-drive version.

Large luxury SUVs were favorites among car thieves. Among the others on the Top 10 most-stolen list were the Hummer H2 four-wheel drive, the Nissan Pathfinder Armada,  the Chevrolet Avalanche and the GMC Yukon.

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Bloomberg News photo

Large pickup trucks were also much prized by the grand theft auto crowd. No. 2 on the theft-loss list was the Ford F-250 crew four-wheel drive. The Chevrolet Silverado came in at No. 9. Kim Hazelbaker, senior vice president of the institute, said big work trucks such as the Ford F-250 are attractive to thieves not only for their own value but also for the tools and cargo they often carry.

While it isn't stolen all that often, the Chevroler Corvette Z06 made the list because of its extraordinarily high average insurance payment -- $41,229.

Other favorite targets of thieves were the Infiniti G37 two-door and the Dodge Charger HEMI.

Showing that safety isn't a big priority among thieves, the institute ranked the Volvo S80, a large luxury car, as the lowest in theft losses. In a virtual tie were the Saturn VUE 4WD, Nissan Murano, and the regular Saturn VUE.

Mileage doesn't appear to be a big selling point -- or is it stealing point? -- among ride-grabbers. The hybrid  Toyota Prius made the Bottom 10, as did the  Mini Cooper. Other minimally stolen cars includes the  Honda Pilot 4WD, the Subaru Impreza, the  Toyota Tacoma double 4WS and the Toyota Sienna 4WD.

It does appear that the nation's car thieves have a red, white and blue streak -- or at least they prefer to Steal American. All of the models in the bottom 10 are made by foreign-based car  companies. Eight of the top 10 were made by the U.S. Big Three.

Unlike other rankings of most-stolen cars, the institute weights its rankings by the number of vehicles on the road.

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