NICB Releases Three Year Snowmobile Theft Report

28 Feb 2019

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its first-ever report on snowmobile thefts in the U.S. on February 5, 2019. While, perhaps, not as widespread as thefts related to other types of vehicles, snowmobile thefts can prove particularly impactful in areas of the country where it is difficult to get around during certain times of year without one.

The report reveals some stark information concerning snowmobile thefts, including the fact that 32 of 50 states reported having at least one snowmobile stolen during the three year reporting period. Minnesota reported the greatest prevalence of snowmobile thefts at 314 which Michigan with 207, Wisconsin with 129, Alaska with 128, and Washington with 109 thefts rounding out the top five.

One surprising fact is that while there were many stolen while owners left their snowmobiles unattended while in use. The majority were stolen from trailers, either while in transit to trails or when stored on trailers outside homes.

The sad news for snowmobile owners, whether intending their snowmobiles for joy riding or more practical purposes, is that only 57 percent of snowmobiles are recovered after being stolen.

What Can Owners do to Protect their Investments?

Snowmobiles are no small investments. Losing one to theft can be a bigger loss than you realize, though. Not only is it a financial loss, but it can be a loss of functionality for people who rely on snowmobiles for transportation to get to work or conduct business when it’s snowing. These are some of the things you can do to protect your snowmobile from thieves.

Garage Your Snowmobile

Out of sight really is out of mind for many people. Most thieves target things that are convenient to steal rather. The more difficult you make it, the less attractive your snowmobile is to take.

Light it Up

If you aren’t storing it in the garage, consider investing in lighting that keeps the area where it is stored well lit. The other thing thieves dislike is visibility.

Invest in GPS Tracking for Your Snowmobile

GPS tracking might not prevent theft of your snowmobile, but it can greatly aid in a swift recovery of your stolen machine. You can even set notifications to let you know instantly if your snowmobile has been taken.

Use VIN Number Etching

Etch the VIN number into various components of your snowmobile and take photos. This will deter some thieves (especially those seeking to sell your snowmobile) and can be instrumental in identifying recovered snowmobiles as yours.

Little things like this can make a huge difference in preventing your snowmobile from becoming yet another NICB statistic.

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