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Monday, October 08, 2007

Hot Wheels: Vehicle Theft in Third Year of Decline

Hot Wheels, the National Insurance Crime Bureau's companion study to its annual Hot Spots auto theft report examines data reported to the National Crime Information
Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model, and model year most
reported stolen in 2006.

For 2006, the most stolen vehicles in the nation were:

1. 1995 Honda Civic
2. 1991 Honda Accord
3. 1989 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup
5. 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup
6. 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Pickup
7. 1994 Nissan Sentra
8. 1994 Dodge Caravan
9. 1994 Saturn SL
10. 1990 Acura Integra

In 2006, 1,192,809 motor vehicles were reported stolen which is 42,417 fewer than in 2005. Using the FBI's average valuation of $6,649 per stolen vehicle, this amounts to over $7.9 billion in losses in 2006 -- just in vehicle value alone.

"The decrease in vehicle thefts is certainly welcome news to law enforcement, the insurance industry and vehicle owners nationwide," says Robert Bryant, NICB's president and chief executive officer. "At NICB, we have been providing the latest technology in auto theft detection and recovery equipment to law enforcement agencies from California to Florida. Through the support of our member insurance companies, NICB acquires and deploys License Plate Recognition systems and bait vehicles in an effort to reduce vehicle theft."

Although overall thefts are down for the third consecutive year, only 59% of stolen vehicles were recovered last year -- the lowest recovery rate in over a decade. Thus, the question becomes, what happens to the over 700,000 vehicles still outstanding? The short answer is that they fuel a number of related insurance fraud and vehicle theft activities, the insurance organization says.

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12:56 AM  

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