NICB Releases 2018 Hot Spot Vehicle Theft Report

6 Aug 2019

Vehicle theft isn’t as much of an issue as it was in the early 1990s. In fact, because of increased law enforcement, increased vigilance and technological advances, there are fewer than half of car thefts today. Even so, when owning a car, you still need to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of your vehicle, particularly in certain cities.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has launched its yearly “Hot Spot’s report where it ranks hundreds of U.S. metro locations based on their auto theft rates. According to the NICB, for every 100,000 of communities’ residents, there were up to 780 vehicle thefts last year.

Hot Spots takes a look at the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC’s) data on vehicle theft for each of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of the nation. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designates MSAs which frequently include locations much bigger than the cities being named. For instance, thefts in the entire Bernalillo County are included in the Albuquerque, N.M. MSA, not just Albuquerque.

While you may think Chicago, New York City and the other bigger cities of the nation might have the greatest rate of auto thefts, and overall, they do register a larger number of auto crimes, it’s the smaller cities that usually show a greater per-capita frequency than areas with more residents.

The 10 U.S. metropolitan locations listed by the NICB as having the greatest per-capita auto theft rates along with the number of stolen vehicles reported last year are:

  1. Albuquerque, N.M with 7,146 thefts
  2. Anchorage, AK with 3,087
  3. Bakersfield, CA with 6,748
  4. Pueblo, CO with 1,175
  5. Modesto, CA with 3,428
  6. Redding, CA with 1,037
  7. Stockton, CA with 4,287
  8. Wichita, KS with 3,547
  9. Vallejo, CA with 2,404
  10. St. Joseph, MO with 674

The NICB offers information on the four “layers of protection” to protect against vehicle theft. These are:

  1. 1. Common Sense: Close your windows and lock your doors, take your keys out of the car when you’re not in it and park in well-lit areas.
  2. Warning Device: These are audible and visible devices that warn thieves your vehicle is safeguarded. They include:
  • Brake locks
  • Wheel locks
  • Audible alarms
  • Theft-deterrent decals
  • VIN etching
  • Brake pedal/steering wheel lock
  1. Immobilizing Device: Devices that prevent thieves from being able to bypass the ignition and hot-wire your vehicle, including:
  • Kill switches
  • Smart keys
  • Wireless ignition authentication
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Ignition, starter and fuel pump disablers
  1. GPS Tracking Device: A GPS tracking system in your car that emits a signal to a monitoring station or law enforcement in the event someone steals your vehicle. They help police track and recover your vehicle.

By following these four “layers of protection” you can hopefully deter thieves and protect your vehicle from becoming another statistic.

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