After five straight years of declining auto thefts in the United States one thing is clear — our Mexican border remains porous not only to an influx of illegal immigrants but to an outflow of stolen vehicles. So the next time you see a Canadian, thank him or her not only for ice hockey but for their peaceable ways.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says that 2008 marked the nation’s fifth consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts in the United States. Although most areas experienced a reduction in vehicle theft, there were several noteworthy exceptions in states that border Mexico.
“This is a mixed bag of good news and bad news on the vehicle theft front,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer. “The good news is, we’re seeing steady progress in reducing the overall theft rate and that means Americans aren’t shelling out as much to cover the cost of stolen vehicles in their insurance premiums. We’ve also seen significant decreases in key areas along the border such as San Diego, where thefts dropped nearly 20%. ”
The theft rate is calculated by the number of vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants.
“The bad news is that the theft rate continues to increase in areas like El Paso and Laredo where many of the cars, trucks and SUVs being stolen are being used to carry drugs, money and weapons into and out of Mexico. These vehicle thefts are helping finance the drug cartels that are waging war on the Mexican government,” according to Wehrle.
For 2008, the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with highest vehicle theft rates
|2008 Ranking 2007 Ranking|
|1. Modesto, CA 1|
|2. Laredo, TX 6|
|3. Yakima, WA 9|
|4. San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos, CA 3|
|5. Bakersfield, CA 15|
|6. Stockton, CA 4|
|7. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV 2|
|8. Albuquerque, NM 7|
|9. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA 5|
|10. Fresno, CA 11|
California ranks number one in total thefts. The Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) of El Paso, Laredo and San Antonio, along with Las Cruces in New Mexico each saw an increase in 2008. MSAs are designated by the Office of Management and Budget and often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Modesto, California, MSA includes the entire county of Stanislaus and other municipalities in addition to the city of Modesto. (more…)