There must be something about the new car smell that attracts thieves, as recent FBI statistics report that nearly 800,000 motor vehicles were stolen in the United States in 2009 -- representing a nationwide loss of $5.2 billion.

It appears as if more car thieves rode feverishly into the night in a Toyota Camry than any other model, but that is likely because there were about 448,000 made in 2009, leaving plenty of opportunity for the bad guys to steal 781 of them.

Even though fewer luxury cars were stolen over standard models, that is mostly due to there not being as many of them manufactured. Still, the professional thief has a sweet spot for the luxury vehicle, as these models can serve as a big payday when they are exported or parted out for sale on the black market.

According to Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, a luxury car is defined by three simple criteria – it is produced by a traditional luxury manufacture such as Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz, it retails for no less than $45,000, and it offers a smooth ride, even on bumpy roads.

The list of the most frequently stolen luxury cars in the United States was developed using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Vehicles are ranked according to thefts per thousand produced.

With only 227 units manufactured in 2009, the Audi S8 tops the list with a theft rate of 8.81 per thousand, followed by the high performance BMW M5 and the Chrysler 300 high performance sedan.

Other vehicles include the Chrysler Sebring, the Audi A8 and the Volvo V70.

Top 10 Most Stolen Luxury Cars

1. Audi S8
Theft Rate: 8.81 per thousand

2. BMW M5
Theft Rate: 7.58 per thousand

3. Chrysler 300
Theft Rate: 4.57 per thousand

4. Nissan Infiniti M35/M45
Theft Rate: 4.32 per thousand

5. General Motors Cadillac STS
Theft Rate: 4.28 per thousand

6. Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
Theft Rate: 3.91 per thousand

7. Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Theft Rate: 3.73 per thousand

8. Chrysler Sebring
Theft Rate: 3.32 per thousand

9. Audi A8
Theft Rate: 3.31 per thousand

10. Volvo V70
Theft Rate: 3.01 per thousand

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