HEAT Notes Mich. Auto Theft Dropping Steadily

February 4, 2004

HEAT (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) responded this week to numbers published Feb. 1 by the Auto Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) that indicate a steady, continuous decline in auto theft across Michigan and within the City of Detroit.

“Michigan residents are more aware than ever about the need to protect their vehicles from becoming targets for criminals, and law enforcement is more focused than ever on cracking down on theft activity,” said Terri Miller, director of HEAT. “Thanks to resources like the HEAT tipline, Michigan residents are more empowered than ever to report criminal activity and help recover stolen property.”

HEAT is a partnership of Michigan’s auto insurance companies, law enforcement and residents of Michigan. The HEAT program encourages citizen action through a confidential, toll-free auto theft tip line (1-800-242-HEAT) that provides financial rewards for people who provide information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals for auto theft, carjacking and chop shops. 2002 Numbers Reveal Decline in Auto Theft

* From 2001 to 2002, auto thefts in Michigan declined 5.85 percent. This compares with a nationwide increase of 1.60 percent. In 2002, 49,248 vehicles were reported stolen in Michigan, compared with 52,310 in 2001. Auto thefts in Michigan have declined every year since 1997. Data for the 2003 calendar year are not available until February 2005.

* Michigan comprised 3.95 percent of United States auto theft activity in 2002. This is the lowest percentage since 1995.

* The City of Detroit saw auto thefts decline from 24,537 in 2001 to 23,857 in 2002.

* Among Michigan’s larger cities, declines in auto theft were seen in:

* Flint – from 1,965 in 2001 to 1,342 in 2002.

* Grand Rapids – from 677 in 2001 to 673 in 2002.

* Lansing – from 483 in 2001 to 407 in 2002.

* Battle Creek – from 331 in 2001 to 285 in 2002.

* Dearborn – from 1,176 in 2001 to 937 in 2002.

* Southfield – from 828 in 2001 to 795 in 2002.

* Saginaw – from 403 in 2001 to 380 in 2002.

* Among Michigan cities, increases in auto theft occurred in:

* Warren – from 1,118 in 2001 to 1,148 in 2002.

* Kalamazoo – from 483 in 2001 to 596 in 2002.

“We are excited about these numbers, because they indicate that programs like HEAT are having an impact – not only in generating awareness, but also in apprehending perpetrators,” Miller said. “HEAT has awarded $2.6 million to tipsters since 1985, in recovering 3,270 stolen vehicles valued at more than $38 million. HEAT tips have led to the arrest of 2,684 suspects. We’re making a difference, and it shows in the statistics.”

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