Nearly 750,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States in 2018, which is a 3.1% drop from the year prior, according to Federal Bureau of Investigations statistics.
Officially, there were 748,841 vehicle thefts – nearly 75% were cars – in the United States in 2018, while that was a decrease from the 2017, it marked a 9% increase compared with 2014. Those stolen vehicles represent $6.3 billion in losses.
The recovery rate for stolen motor vehicles in 2018 was 59.3%, meaning about 300,000 motor vehicles went unrecovered, although it’s difficult to point to a specific number, since vehicles are recovered nationwide daily, officials from the National Insurance Crime Bureau noted.
The bottom line is that every 42.2 seconds, a car, truck or SUV is stolen in the U.S. So in about the time it will take you to read this story, about four or five cars will be nabbed. More vehicles are stolen in California than any state in the Union by double. Here are the top 10 states:
- California (155,211)
- Texas (69,817)
- Florida (41,165)
- Washington (27,677)
- Georgia (24,760)
- Colorado (21,673)
- Tennessee (20,439)
- Ohio (19,909)
- Illinois (19,593)
- Arizona (19,139)
Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia saw an increase in motor vehicle thefts, while 29 states posted a decrease. The increases ranged from a low of 2 (North Dakota) to a high of 1,915 (Tennessee). The reductions ranged from a low of 2 (Kansas) to a high of 13,180 (California).
There several simple things vehicle owners can do, according to the NICB, to lessen the chances of having your vehicle stolen, such as locking your vehicles, setting the alarm, don’t leave a garage opener in the car, and never leave a car unlocked and running.
Additionally, the group advised that owners take a picture of their registration and keep it one your phone, do not leave the registration or other papers with personal information in the vehicle. If your car is stolen contact police first, and then contact your insurance company or agent.