Report: Car Thefts Continue Decline In 2009

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported recently that 2009 marked the nation's sixth consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts in the United States.

For 2009, the 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with the highest vehicle theft rates are:

  2009 Ranking                                 2008 Ranking
  1. Laredo, Texas                                 2
  2. Modesto, Calif.                               1
  3. Bakersfield, Calif.                           5
  4. Stockton, Calif.                              6
  5. Fresno, Calif.                                10
  6. Yakima, Wash.                                 3
  7. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif.         9
  8. Visalia/Porterville, Calif.                   11
  9. Las Vegas/Paradise, Nevada                    7
  10. Albuquerque                                  8

NICB's Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation's MSAs. MSAs are designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Laredo, Texas MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Webb in addition to the city of Laredo.

Of the 366 MSAs within the United States, 304 (83 percent) of them reported lower thefts than they experienced in 2008. As suggested in the FBI's 2009 preliminary semi-annual crime report published last December, vehicle theft may drop by as much as 18 percent from 2008's numbers once the final figures are tabulated in the fall.

"This is great news on the vehicle theft front," said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and chief executive officer. "Six straight years of vehicle theft reductions are the result of a lot of hard work on the part of law enforcement, prosecutors, legislators, NICB member companies, NICB personnel and insurance industry trade groups who have contributed expertise and energy to have an impact on this crime."

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