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  • NICB: Auto Theft Continues To Skyrocket

    NICB: Auto Theft Continues To Skyrocket

    Car thieves are keeping themselves busy these days,  according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).  Its new 2021 Hot Spots Report shows that vehicle thefts continue to skyrocket in many areas of the U.S. Nationwide, 932,329 vehicles were reported stolen to law enforcement in 2021,  up 6% over 2020, and a substantial 17% increase since 2019. 

    According to NICB researchers, Colorado has the biggest problem with vehicle thefts. It led the nation in 2021 with the highest overall theft rate at 661.21 thefts per 100,000 people, up from 502.12 in 2020, a huge increase of 32%. When it comes to the highest number of vehicle thefts by volume, California is once again number one 2021,  with 200,524 vehicles stolen, over 100,000 more thefts than second place Texas.

    "For many of us, cars are essential to our livelihoods and the welfare of our families," said NICB President and CEO David Glawe. "NICB, along with our partners in law enforcement, are proactively working to prevent and deter vehicle theft, but vehicle owners can take simple steps to empower themselves. No matter who you are or where you live, theft prevention starts with good security hygiene. Lock your doors and keep your keys with you at all times."

    "Hot" States


    Hot Spots-2021-top-10-states-credit-nicb

    The top 5 states with the most thefts by volume, which include Illinois, Florida, and Colorado, in addition to California and Texas, account for 412,008, or 44%, of all vehicle thefts nationwide. Of these states, only Florida saw a slight decrease in vehicle thefts with 42,808, down from 44,940 in 2020.

    Top 10 States by Theft Rate  - NICB*

     

    Rank

    State

    2021 Rate

    2020 Rate

    1

    Colorado

    661.21

    502.12

    2

    Washington, D.C.

    651

    562.98

    3

    California

    511.05

    475.24

    4

    New Mexico

    475.5

    426.19

    5

    Oregon

    471.16

    385.08

    6

    Washington

    461.91

    368.46

    7

    Missouri

    428.13

    453.63

    8

    Nevada

    426.75

    365.84

    9

    Oklahoma

    359.33

    371.28

    10

    Texas

    320.04

    318.52

     

    *Theft rate is total thefts per 100,000 residents.

     

    "Hot" Cities


    In addition to having the most overall thefts by volume, California was also home to the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) with the highest theft rate in the United States as the Bakersfield, CA CBSA had 1,024 thefts per 100,000 people. With a rate of 964.92 thefts per 100,000 people, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO CBSA was second overall in theft rate, while the former #2, the Yuba City, CA CBSA, fell to tenth place.

    hot-spots-2021-cities-credit-nicb

    Top 10 Core-Based Statistical Areas by Theft Rate*

     

    Rank

    CBSA/MSA Name

    2021 Rate

    2020 Rate

    1

    Bakersfield, CA 

    1023.68

    905.41

    2

    Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

    964.92

    705.8

    3

    Pueblo, CO

    891.39

    602.39

    4

    Albuquerque, NM

    710.58

    631.75

    5

    Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

    680.2

    489.95

    6

    San Francisco – Oakland – Berkeley, CA

    675.86

    655.2

    7

    Billings, MT

    611.11

    564.75

    8

    Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI

    597.83

    345.19

    9

    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

    582.47

    465.11

    10

    Yuba City, CA

    578.68

    724.46

     

    *Theft rate is total thefts per 100,000 residents.

     

    On the positive side, auto thefts didn't increase everywhere in 2021. Since the release of the 2020 Hot Spots report, 22 states have seen decreases in vehicle thefts. 

    To read more about how the data is tabulated click here.

    Theft Prevention Tips  


    NICB provides these tips to protect your vehicle from theft.

    1. Always practice good security hygiene.
    2. Make sure your auto policy is up to date.
    3. Roll up your windows, lock your doors, and take the keys or fob.
    4. Park in well-lit areas and, when possible, areas staffed by security.
    5. Park personal vehicles in a garage if you can.  Otherwise park your car in a driveway, and think about  installing motion sensor security lights that may make thieves think twice. 

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