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Car Thefts Plunge By More than Half

Better technology, increased enforcement keep thieves at bay.

by on Dec.17, 2014

Car thefts surged in the 1970s and '80s, but the numbers have been falling since 1991's peak.

There may be far more cars on the road, but car theft has plunged 58% since 1991’s all-time high, according to newly released FBI data.

Increased law enforcement and enhanced automotive technology have combined to make it tougher on car thieves, though nearly 700,000 vehicles were still snatched in the U.S. last year.

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Nonetheless, “It means that if you own a vehicle, your chances of having it stolen today are statistically and significantly less than at any other time since 1960,” according to a new analysis of the FBI data by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, or NICB.


Auto Theft Rate Continues to Decline

But problem remains serious in parts of the West.

by on Jun.19, 2012

Car theft fall sharply in 2011 - though there remain major "hot spots" along the West Coast.

Despite high-profile cases, like the recent carjacking of Detroit pastor and gospel icon Marvin Winans, a nationwide crackdown on car theft is generating clear and positive results.

Two new reports suggest that auto theft rates fell once again in 2011, though there are some nagging hot spots that seem to be resisting the crackdown, especially along the West Coast.

Meanwhile, a recent study suggests that certain vehicles remain fair game for thieves, including the Chevrolet Corvette.  According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than one in 10 Vettes has been heisted over the past 30 years.

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The NICB, an insurance industry trade group, says the general trend is downward, with the majority of major metropolitan areas having seen a decline in overall car theft during 2011.  Some communities, like Laredo, Texas, have seen significant declines.


Honda Leads List of Most-Stolen Cars

But Detroit models gain popularity with thieves.

by on Aug.03, 2011

The 1994 Honda Accord was the vehicle most often targeted by car thieves last year.

Honda and Toyota products topped the latest list of the cars most frequently targeted by thieves – but Detroit models are becoming increasingly popular, as well, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

On the positive side, preliminary FBI data show that car theft is continuing to decline, with the numbers down about 7.2% last year which, if the statistics hold up, would make it the lowest figure since 1967, according to the NICB.

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The 1994 Honda Accord topped the “Hot Wheels” list prepared annually by the Crime Bureau – its third year in a row at the top — followed by the 1995 Honda Civic.  Rounding out the top three was the 1991 Toyota Camry.  But there was only one other import among the Top Ten, the 1994 Acura Integra, which was eighth.  Domestic-made products, including the 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and 2002 Ford Explorer, made up the rest of the list.  It was the first time since 2002 that more Detroit models made the list than import brands.


U.S. Auto Thefts Fall to Lowest Level Since 1967

Crackdowns work as theft rate falls over 7% in 2010.

by on Jun.22, 2011

Car theft fall sharply in 2010 - though there are major "hot spots in California, experts warn.

Maybe it’s the video game craze?  You’re certainly less likely to get busted for stealing a car in Grand Theft Auto.  A nationwide crackdown is getting at least some of the credit for what appeared to be a 7.2% decline in car thefts last year.  The preliminary number, if it holds, would mark the seventh annual decline in a row and mark the lowest level of car thefts since 1967.

The West Coast remains a hotbed for car thieves, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which found that the Los Angeles suburb of Fresno saw the relatively rare increase in car thefts in 2010, which launched it from fifth to first among the urban regions NICB tracks.

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Other Left Coast hot spots included Sacramento, Spokane and San Francisco – Oakland, the insurance trade group reported.  California had eight of the Top 10 areas for car theft in 2010.

At the same time, Los Angeles was one of the many cities to report a decline in car thefts, along with the New York region, Dallas, Detroit and Miami.