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An Overview of Auto Theft in America

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    Many of us have seen the headlines and have heard stories — auto theft is a pervasive problem in the United States. In any given year, over about 750,000 motor vehicles are stolen. That is more than one car for every 110 people in the US!

    Not only is auto theft an ongoing problem, but it’s one that seems to affect certain types of cars more than others. In this blog, we’ll explore how often cars are stolen in the US, which cars are stolen the most, and how you can protect yourself against becoming a car theft statistic.

    How Often Are Cars Stolen in the US?

    A new analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau revealed that last year, over one million vehicles were stolen in the United States. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2021.

    The combined estimated value of all reported vehicle thefts from 2022 totaled $8.9 billion.

    What Cars Are Stolen the Most?

    While anyone can become a victim of auto theft, some vehicle owners are more vulnerable than others. The following are some types of cars that get stolen most often, according to the Insurance Information Institute:

    • Chevrolet Full Size Pick-up
    • Ford Full Size Pick-up
    • Honda Civic
    • Honda Accord
    • Hyundai Sonata
    • Hyundai Elantra
    • Kia Optima
    • Toyota Camry
    • GMC Full Size Pick-up
    • Honda CR-V

    Most Common Methods of Auto Theft

    Everyone knows the basic principle behind auto theft — someone steals a vehicle from someone else. However, there are a few different methods of auto theft that a thief might use (and that you can protect yourself against).

    For example, some car thieves use intimidation or trick a victim into getting out of their car so they can steal it. Others look for vehicles with open windows or unlocked doors (easy targets).

    More sophisticated thieves might use advanced tools to bypass electronic codes and other safety features and steal new cars.

    Prevalence by State

    The likelihood that you will be affected by auto theft depends, to a certain extent, on where you live. The table below features data from the Insurance Information Institute and breaks down the prevalence of auto theft by state:

    State Number of Auto Theft Incidents
    Alabama 7,308
    Alaska 611
    Arizona 5,823
    Arkansas 8,110
    California 11,272
    Colorado 40,853
    Connecticut 7,407
    Delaware 1,609
    Washington, D.C. 1,716
    Florida 50
    Georgia 17,985
    Hawaii 4,286
    Idaho 1,618
    Illinois 11,735
    Indiana 12,585
    Iowa 5,799
    Kansas 5,681
    Kentucky 11,100
    Louisiana 7,505
    Maine 891
    Maryland 4,026
    Massachusetts 6,819
    Michigan 21,283
    Minnesota 14,562
    Mississippi 3,059
    Montana 2,967
    Nebraska 1,750
    Nevada 13,709
    New Hampshire 892
    New Jersey 5,207
    New Mexico 7,316
    New York 4,088
    North Carolina 18,779
    North Dakota 2,085
    Ohio 19,402
    Oklahoma 15,387
    Oregon 19,242
    Pennsylvania 7,648
    Rhode Island 1,635
    South Carolina 13,937
    South Dakota 1,959
    Tennessee 20,142
    Texas 87,053
    Utah 7,960
    Vermont 450
    Virginia 11,248
    Washington 35,326
    West Virginia 1,797
    Wisconsin 15,950
    Wyoming 856

    Demographics of Auto Theft Victims

    Some research shows that drivers under the age of 25 are nearly three times more likely to have their vehicles stolen compared to older drivers.

    One possible reason for this increased likelihood among younger drivers is that they’re more likely to drive older cars, including ones that lack modern security features like alarms and immobilizers.

    Women are also more likely to be victimized compared to men. One report showed that women were victims of attempted auto theft 57 percent of the time.

    Repercussions of Auto Theft

    The repercussions of auto theft extend far beyond the inconvenience of no longer having access to a vehicle (although this alone is enough of a problem for most drivers).

    Some additional ramifications of auto theft include the loss of personal property stored inside the vehicle and the potential for that vehicle to be used to commit other crimes. Some stolen vehicles have also been used as part of a larger identity theft scheme.

    Preventing Auto Theft

    While the consequences of auto theft are many, so are the steps you can take to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Here are some of the most effective strategies you can use to prevent your vehicle from being stolen:

    Keep Your Keys with You

    Never leave your car keys in or on your vehicle. Make sure they’re in your possession at all times or that you know exactly where they’re stored (such as on a hook by your back door).

    Lock Up

    Always close and lock windows and doors when you park. Take the extra 30 seconds required to check your windows and doors before you walk away — it could save you a lot of heartache later.

    Park in the Right Places

    Park in well-lit areas whenever possible. Consider installing motion-activated lights outside of your garage or near your driveway, too, as they can deter thieves from trying to break in or steal your car.

    Take Valuables Out

    Avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially in places where they can be seen from outside. Keep your phone, expensive jewelry, and anything else that might be enticing to a thief on your person or in a safe place in your home.

    Invest in an Anti-Theft System

    Horn alarms, immobilizing devices, and vehicle recovery systems can further protect your car and alert you if someone is trying to steal your vehicle.

    Install Security Cameras

    Install security cameras around your garage/driveway. Visible cameras can deter car thieves. They will also record footage to help police locate your car if it is stolen or broken into.

    Protect Yourself from Auto Theft with Mobile Video Guard

    While you might not be able to completely eliminate your chances of becoming a victim of auto theft, you can significantly reduce the risk by installing security cameras on your property.

    If you’re looking for a security system that offers round-the-clock surveillance, high-quality video recordings, and additional features to deter thieves, Mobile Video Guard has the perfect solution.

    Request a free quote today.


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