Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Car is Stolen in the United States Every 26.4 Seconds

Crime is an issue throughout the United States. The headlines might be grabbed by acts of violence such as murder, rape, shootings, and kidnapping but they aren't as common as another crime. The frequency of vehicle theft may amaze many of you. Despite the fact that car thefts dropped for the third consecutive year, a car is stolen in the United States every 26.4 seconds. This fact was revealed in a recent press release by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

There were 1,192,809 motor vehicles stolen last year. This was 42,417 vehicles fewer than the amount stolen in 2005 though, and marked the third annual decrease in a row. The FBI estimates the average value of a stolen vehicle at $6,649, which when multiplied by the number of stolen vehicles comes to a grand total of $7.9 billion dollars of lost vehicles in 2006. Despite the high value of the loss, the trend is good news for car owners.

"The decrease in vehicle thefts is certainly welcome news to law enforcement, the insurance industry and vehicle owners nationwide," said Robert M. Bryant, who is the National Insurance Crime Bureau's President and CEO. "At NICB, we have been providing the latest technology in auto theft detection and recovery equipment to law enforcement agencies from California to Florida.", continued Bryant.

Out of the ten most stolen vehicles, only one of them is from the twenty first century. That car is the 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup truck, and is the fifth most stolen automotive vehicle. The most popular vehicle that thieves seek is the 1995 Honda Civic, with the second most popular being the 1991 Honda. Another import comes in at the number three spot in the form of the 1989 Toyota Camry. All those top three most stolen vehicles are imports. The first American car is the 1997 Ford F-150 Series Pickup which ranks just above the 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup on the list.

Not all the news is good news for vehicle owners about trends. Despite the third straight year in reductions in the number of vehicles stolen, they were recovered less often last year. Only 59% of stolen vehicles were recovered last year, which is the lowest in over a decade according to the press release.Regardless of the make or model of your car, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of it being stolen. These include making sure you lock your car and take your keys with you. Devices that can help protect your car include car alarms and immobilizing devices. If your car is stolen a GPS tracking system can become very helpful. Car thefts are dropping, but the best defense is a smart and prepared owner.

SOURCES: "Hot Wheels: Vehicle Theft in Third Year of Decline".

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