In the U.S. a motor vehicle is stolen every 40 seconds!
Most believe auto thefts are always something that happens to someone else. It isn’t until it happens to you that you realize how expensive and devastating auto thefts can be. The longer it takes to recover a stolen car, the more likely it is gone forever. And as bad as that is, most people have enough personal information in their car that identity theft becomes a very real concern. The financial impact on a lost car ranges from repair (if you’re fortunate to have it returned) to replacement. Either option comes with increased insurance premiums and higher deductibles.
Key Auto Theft Statistics
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) 2009 Uniform Crime Report, auto theft is down from the previous year making 2009 the sixth consecutive year of reduced vehicle thefts. In 2008, 956,846 vehicles were reported stolen—the lowest annual total in over 20 years. For 2009, the number is even lower—794,616.
Even though vehicle theft is on the decline nationwide, it is still a significant problem for vehicle owners — taking a heavy toll both emotionally and financially.
- Through the end of August 2010, there were 97,655 vehicles listed as stolen and not yet recovered,” said Joe Wehrle, National Insurance Crime Bureau president and CEO. “Of that number, only 38 percent had some kind of insurance coverage. So there are a lot of vehicles out there that are being stolen and the owner is left holding the bag with no car and no money to buy another one.
- According to the 2009 Report, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 40 seconds.
- The odds of a vehicle being stolen were 1 in 270 in 2008. The odds are highest in urban areas.
- In 2009, the South accounted for the largest share of thefts—37.8 percent, followed by the West, 34.2 percent; the Midwest 18.0 percent and the Northeast 10.0 percent.
- Only 12.4 percent of thefts were cleared, either by arrests or by exceptional means, in 2009.
- Carjackings occur most frequently in urban areas. They accounted for only 3.0 percent of all motor vehicle thefts, based on Department of Justice data from 1993 to 2002 (latest available).
The Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles
For 2009, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were:
- 1994 Honda Accord
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1997 Ford F-150 Pickup
- 2004 Dodge Ram Pickup
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 2009 Toyota Corolla
Vehicle Thefts By City
According to a National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB, https://www.nicb.org ) study released in May 2010, the Laredo, Texas, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the highest rate per capita for vehicle thefts in the nation in 2009. Below is a chart showing the TOP TEN U.S. METROPOLITAN AREAS WITH HIGHEST MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT RATES (shown in order by Statistical Area Vehicles stolen Rate)
|| Fresno, CA
||San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
|| Albuquerque, NM
1) Ranked by the rate of vehicle thefts reported per 100,000 people based on the 2009 U.S. Census Population Estimates.
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau