Auto theft is on the decline in the US. However, recovery rates are also down. Over 700,000 stolen vehicles have not been recovered. They are presumed to be exported, fraudulently reported stolen by owners, or disassembled in chop shops.
Every 26 seconds a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States.
In 2006, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 1,192,809 vehicles were reported stolen, down more than 40,000 compared to 2005. Though national numbers were down, the West experienced an increase of 4.5% . (*FBI Uniform Crime Reports). Western states represent 23.0% of the population, and 37.9% of motor vehicle thefts.
Using the FBI's average valuation of $6,649 per stolen vehicle, the 1.19 million vehicles stolen during 2006 caused estimated property losses of $7.9 billion.
Only 13% of thefts were cleared by arrests in 2004.(Insurance Information Institute)
Auto theft is covered by the optional "comprehensive" coverage on your auto policy. The U.S. average comprehensive insurance premium decreased 2.5% between 2004 and 2005, the most recent data available. (Insurance Information Institute)
Carjacking accounts for 3.0 % of all motor vehicle thefts nationwide, and occurs most frequently in urban areas.
Living in urban and higher crime areas has an impact on your risk of being a victim of auto theft. Port and border cities continue to be boomtowns for the auto theft business. Of the top 25 metro areas in the nation for vehicle theft, nearly half are ports or communities with easy access to borders (*National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB).The NICB study compares the auto theft rates per 100,000 population in 361 metro areas.
The top 10 states ranked by number of auto thefts in 2006
The top 10 metro areas with highest auto theft rates in 2006:
There are also city-by-city differences in auto buying habits that are reflected in the preferences of auto thieves.For example, American vehicles tend to be the auto thief's vehicles of choice in Detroit and Chicago; pickups are popular in Albuquerque, Phoenix and Houston; and Japanese models lead the most commonly stolen list in Los Angeles.
Report fraud and vehicle theft to your local law enforcement, as well as the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422). Your call to NICB can be anonymous and you may be eligible for a reward.Information for this section was compiled from interviews with convicted car thieves and research.
Locations: Most vehicles are stolen from in front of the victim's home or apartment.
Suspect Indicator's: 36% of the thieves arrested in Pittsburgh are Juveniles.
Suspects have a preference for stealing cars that they already know how to steal, and are easily stolen: Chevy /Olds /Pontiac /Buick /Dodge /Plymouth /and Chrysler products are most popular in Pittsburgh and account for 8 of the top 10 models stolen. Honda, and Toyota products are popular throughout the Nation due to popularity and ability to resale Parts.
Juveniles steal in-groups, professionals steal cars alone, as a general rule.
Typical tools used are slide hammers (dent-puller), screwdriver (universal tool), slip tools such as a common butter knife.
The state of auto theft in 2000
By Joe Frey insure.com
Auto theft is an estimated $7.5 billion business and continues to grow despite the declining theft rate across the country, according to the FBI.
According to recently released numbers, the FBI says that in 1998, auto thieves grabbed 8.4 percent fewer cars than in 1997, but the average value of the cars stolen was 11 percent higher. That means the auto theft industry's cost to consumers and insurers rose $200 million in 1998.
A car is stolen every 23 seconds, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a trade organization. The odds of your car being taken were 1 in 171 in 1998, says the III.
Police apprehend 14 percent of all auto thieves — a percentage that has remained constant for the past decade. Thefts were most prevalent in the South, where 36 percent of all vehicle thefts occurred in 1998. Western states accounted for 28 percent of all reported thefts, while the Midwest and Northeast reported 20 percent and 16 percent of all thefts, respectively.
What the thieves are after
"Thieves will steal anything that's free," according to the III (Insurance Information Institute), radios, air bags, electronic control modules (ECMs), and laptop computers are high on thieves' lists. The latest statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau show that 60,000 air bags are ripped out of cars annually, which costs insurance companies an estimated $50 million per year. Anti-theft-device manufacturers have made improvements on their product designs and functions, which make your car harder to steal
Every year in the U.S., more than 1.1 million vehicles are stolen. It's easy to become a statistic: just let down your guard for a moment. How many cars were stolen in your town in 1999? Check out this list, courtesy of the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report:
|Abilene, TX||255||Lowell, MA||723|
|Akron, OH||769||Lubbock, TX||696|
|Albany, NY||428||Macon, GA||1,638|
|Albuquerque, NM||4,693||Madison, WI||602|
|Alexandria, VA||702||Manchester, NH||434|
|Allentown, PA||563||McAllen, TX||906|
|Amarillo, TX||703||Memphis, TN||7,670|
|Amherst Town, NY||140||Mesa, AZ||2,851|
|Anaheim, CA||1,373||Mesquite, TX||610|
|Anchorage, AK||1,251||Miami, FL||5,723|
|Ann Arbor, MI||206||Midland, TX||166|
|Arlington, TX||1,720||Milwaukee, WI||7,414|
|Arvada, CO||224||Minneapolis, MN||3,866|
|Atlanta, GA||7,328||Mobile, AL||1,225|
|Aurora, CO||1,951||Modesto, CA||1,269|
|Aurora, IL||416||Montgomery, AL||1,400|
|Austin, TX||2,792||Moreno Valley, CA||572|
|Bakersfield, CA||1,162||Naperville, IL||124|
|Baton Rouge, LA||2,334||Nashville, TN||4,989|
|Beaumont, TX||805||Newark, NJ||5,267|
|Bellevue, WA||440||New Haven, CT||1,368|
|Berkeley, CA||845||New Orleans, LA||7,118|
|Birmingham, AL||1,977||Newport News, VA||1,102|
|Boise, ID||328||New York, NY||39,693|
|Boston, MA||6,764||Norwalk, CA||764|
|Bridgeport, CT||1,875||Oakland, CA||4,788|
|Brownsville, TX||351||Oceanside, CA||494|
|Buffalo, NY||2,990||Odessa, TX||190|
|Burbank, CA||548||Oklahoma City, OK||3,630|
|Cambridge, MA||431||Omaha, NE||3,586|
|Carrollton, TX||317||Ontario, CA||1,330|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||320||Orange, CA||480|
|Chandler, AZ||894||Orlando, FL||2,098|
|Charlotte, NC||4,848||Oxnard, CA||567|
|Chattanooga, TN||1,483||Palmdale, CA||475|
|Chicago, IL||31,524||Pasadena, CA||451|
|Chula Vista, CA||1,467||Pasadena, TX||701|
|Cincinnati, OH||1,658||Patterson, NJ||1,342|
|Clearwater, FL||360||Pembroke Pines, FL||603|
|Cleveland, OH||7,410||Peoria, IL||985|
|Colorado Springs, CO||1,103||Philadelphia, PA||17,711|
|Columbia, SC||740||Phoenix, AZ||17,959|
|Columbus, GA||1,241||Pittsburgh, PA||3,197|
|Columbus, OH||6,822||Plano, TX||290|
|Concord, CA||631||Pomona, CA||1,158|
|Coral Springs, FL||417||Portland, OR||4,690|
|Corona, CA||521||Portsmouth, VA||610|
|Corpus Christi, TX||1,510||Providence, RI||2,277|
|Costa Mesa, CA||380||Provo, UT||201|
|Dallas, TX||17,854||Pueblo, CO||303|
|Daly City, CA||393||Raleigh, NC||1,335|
|Dayton, OH||2,926||Rancho Cucamonga, CA||420|
|Denver, CO||4,991||Reno, NV||736|
|Des Moines, IA||833||Richmond, VA||2,101|
|Downey, CA||978||Riverside, CA||1,618|
|Durham, NC||1,654||Rochester, NY||2,047|
|Elizabeth, NJ||1,983||Rockford, IL||894|
|El Monte, CA||560||Sacramento, CA||4,460|
|El Paso, TX||2,307||Salem, OR||637|
|Erie, PA||246||Salinas, CA||650|
|Escondido, CA||982||Salt Lake City, UT||1,845|
|Eugene, OR||652||San Antonio, TX||5,595|
|Evansville, IN||431||San Bernardino, CA||1,795|
|Flint, MI||1,796||San Diego, CA||9,491|
|Fontana, CA||779||Sandy, UT||178|
|Fort Collins, CO||222||San Francisco, CA||5,977|
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||1,789||San Jose, CA||2,860|
|Fort Wayne, IN||1,324||Santa Ana, CA||2,287|
|Fort Worth, TX||3,899||Santa Clara, CA||289|
|Fremont, CA||569||Santa Clarita, CA||242|
|Fresno, CA||4,643||Santa Rosa, CA||328|
|Fullerton, CA||445||Savannah, GA||1,216|
|Garden Grove, CA||991||Scottsdale, AZ||1,057|
|Garland, TX||830||Seattle, WA||8,640|
|Gary, IN||1,361||Shreveport, LA||1,042|
|Glendale, AZ||2,286||Simi Valley, CA||161|
|Glendale, CA||743||Sioux Falls, SD||220|
|Grand Prairie, TX||1,059||South Bend, IN||718|
|Green Bay, WI||196||Spokane, WA||968|
|Greensboro, NC||1,339||Springfield, IL||373|
|Hampton, VA||462||Springfield, MA||1,449|
|Hartford, CT||1,404||Springfield, MO||737|
|Hayward, CA||1,134||Stamford, CT||359|
|Henderson, NV||778||Sterling Heights, MI||282|
|Hialeah, FL||2,798||St. Louis, MO||6,645|
|Hollywood, FL||1,295||Stockton, CA||2,140|
|Honolulu, HI||3,997||St. Paul, MN||1,900|
|Houston, TX||19,445||St. Petersburg, FL||2,066|
|Huntington Beach, CA||490||Sunnyvale, CA||207|
|Huntsville, AL||1,135||Syracuse, NY||750|
|Independence, MO||742||Tacoma, WA||2,668|
|Indianapolis, IN||5,434||Tallahassee, FL||923|
|Inglewood, CA||925||Tampa, FL||5,740|
|Irvine, CA||301||Tempe, AZ||1,988|
|Irving, TX||1,041||Thousand Oaks, CA||129|
|Jackson, MS||3,475||Toledo, OH||2,778|
|Jacksonville, FL||4,877||Topeka, KS||701|
|Jersey City, NJ||2,362||Torrance, CA||747|
|Kansas City, MO||6,750||Tucson, AZ||4,839|
|Knoxville, TN||1,360||Tulsa, OK||3,228|
|Lafayette, LA||629||Vallejo, CA||779|
|Lancaster, CA||391||Ventura, CA||211|
|Lansing, MI||437||Virginia Beach, VA||718|
|Laredo, TX||1,116||Waco, TX||1,022|
|Las Vegas, NV||9,772||Washington, DC||6,526|
|Lexington, KY||924||Waterbury, CT||661|
|Lincoln, NE||513||West Covina, CA||690|
|Little Rock, AR||1,173||West Valley, UT||678|
|Livonia, MI||308||Wichita, KS||1,672|
|Long Beach, CA||3,361||Wichita Falls, TX||465|
|Los Angeles, CA||24,677||Winston-Salem, NC||1,137|
|Louisville, KY||2,000||Worcester, MA||1,163|
Worst insurance theft losses are for Mercedes model; two of three with worst theft losses are Acura models
ARLINGTON, VA - June 14, 2000
The Mercedes S class, a very large luxury car, heads the list of passenger vehicles with the highest insurance losses for theft. Overall losses for this car are 10 times higher than the average for all passenger cars. This is the first time in five years that a utility vehicle hasn't topped the list of vehicles with the worst theft losses, which are published annually by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).
"The Mercedes S class has appeared on the 10 worst list for 5 years. It's obviously an attractive target for professional thieves because of its value," says Kim Hazelbaker, HLDI senior vice president.
The two-door Acura Integra has the second worst result, with losses also 10 times higher than the average among 1997-99 passenger vehicles. These high overall losses are produced by different factors, Hazelbaker explains. The Mercedes has extremely high average loss payments per claim, while the Acura's claim frequency is very high. The four-door Integra has the third highest overall theft loss result. Now Honda, which manufactures Acura's, has equipped all Integra's for the 2000 model year with passive immobilizing antitheft devices.
During the 1980-99 model years, theft claim frequencies have declined significantly, but this trend has been mostly offset by increasing theft losses per claim. In 1999, the last year for which information is available, the average theft loss payment per claim also declined.
VEHICLES AT RISK FOR THEFT IN PORT AND BORDER COMMUNITIES
NEW FILM "GONE IN 60 SECONDS" RAISES AWARENESS OF AUTO THEFT PROBLEM
PALOS HILLS, IL - Nearly 40 percent of all vehicle thefts occur in or near ports and border communities - with close to 19 percent stolen in the greater Los Angeles area, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
The NICB analysis reported that close to 450,000 cars and trucks were stolen countrywide in metropolitan areas with ports or close to international borders in 1998.
Each year more than 200,000 vehicles are exported illegally from the United States. Many of these were stolen in port and border communities, according to NICB.
"More and more vehicles are being targeted for export by thieves who sneak them out through ports and across borders," said Robert Bryant, president and chief executive officer of NICB, the insurance industry's theft and fraud fighting organization.
"People who live in these areas should take special care to protect their cars and trucks from thieves." The Los Angeles area was by far the prime target with more than 65,000 thefts. The top ten areas with port facilities or near international borders that recorded the greatest number of vehicle thefts were:
"Law enforcement agencies have helped bring auto theft down about 5 percent nationally," said Bryant. "They've done a terrific job." But the first line of defense against vehicle theft is the owner, he said. NICB recommends a layered approach to protecting vehicles. There are four layers of protection to consider: common sense - removing the keys and locking the doors; visible and audible devices - steering wheel locks or alarms; immobilizing devices - smart keys or kill switches; and tracking devices. "The number of layers a vehicle needs depends on the vehicle and the geographic location," said Bryant. "Budget and personal preference should also determine which anti theft device to choose." The National Insurance Crime Bureau is a nonprofit organization supported by approximately 1,000 insurance and self-insured companies dedicated to fighting insurance-related crime. Footnote: Figures are based on MSAs as reported to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.