Car theft rates declined in 2011

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Car theft rates, according to several recent surveys, is declining nationwide, though still remains high in some areas. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The annual survey of car theft by the National Crime Insurance Bureau, a trade group of the insurance industry, indicates car theft continues to decline. Most areas had lower rates of car theft in 2011, though some areas are still worryingly high.

Overall drop in nationwide crime includes car theft

Car theft is one of the most common types of property crime, but thankfully the trend in the past few years has been for car thefts, along with other crimes, to decline. The annual survey of car theft rates by the National Crime Insurance Bureau, according to MSNBC, indicates that car theft declined in 2011. The NCIB is a research organization funded by the insurance industry, essentially the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of property crimes.

The NCIB tracks auto theft rates for various large cities, where auto thefts are more common. The biggest decline among large cities was in Laredo, Texas, which has gone from being ranked as the wort city in the nation for car theft in 2009, declining 53 percent to the number 53 slot in 2011. The number of car thefts in the streets of Laredo declined from 1,792 to 849 in that period, according to USA Today.

West coast still the worst

Cities on the Pacific coast remain the most dangerous for car owners and in particular, rural California, which accounted for six of the top 10 areas with the highest theft rates. Those cities included Fresno, Modesto, Bakersfield-Delano, Stockton, Vallejo-Fairfield and Visalia-Porterville. The only other California metropolitan area to make the list was San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont.

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Of the remaining three, one was on the east coast, that being Anderson, S.C. The remaining two citiesĀ  are long-time car theft hot spots in eastern Washington state, Spokane and Yakima.

The most vulnerable car to own, according to the NCIB is a Chevrolet Corvette, which has a theft rate of one in 10.

FBI agrees

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to MSNBC, concurs with the data. Annual FBI crime reports also show declines in car theft and the preliminary crime report for 2011 indicates a decline of at least 3.3 percent from 2010. In 2010, according to the FBI, there were 737,142 car thefts, resulting in $4.5 billion in losses due to the theft. It also marked a 7.2 percent decline from 2009, a 40 percent decline from 2001 and more than 60 percent down from 1991.

Data from the preliminary crime report for 2011 indicates car theft is more common in medium-sized cities, as car theft rates for metropolitan areas with a population between 250,000 and 499,999 did not change from 2010 to 2011. All other categories of metro areas by population declined. The NCIB’s top 10 worst cities for car theft are all small to medium-sized cities, according to USA Today.

Metropolitan counties also had the largest decline in car thefts, as metropolitan counties reported a 6.1 percent decline in car thefts over 2011, compared to a 2.3 percent decline among non-metropolitan counties.



USA Today

FBI Preliminary Crime Report 2011

FBI 2010 Crime Report:

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