Statewide Auto Theft Continues to Decline in Michigan

February 19, 2010

An organization dedicated to reducing auto theft in Michigan reports that while there has been a decline in auto theft in the state, incidents of insurance fraud and component theft have increased.

Michigan’s H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) was responding to 2008 statistics released by the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) in its annual report.

“We expected and are pleased to see the continued decline in the number of vehicle thefts across the state,” said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. “However, the battle against auto theft-related crime continues, as we see activity shifting from traditional vehicle theft to more insurance fraud and component theft.”

The data, which is the most recent available, is from 2008. Data for the 2009 calendar year will be available from the ATPA in February 2011

2009 ATPA Annual Report Highlights for Michigan:

  • Auto thefts in Michigan in 2008 declined by 14.6 percent from 2007. In 2008, 35,467 vehicles were reported stolen in Michigan, compared to 41,510 in 2007.
  • From 1986 (the year of ATPA’s inception) to 2008, Michigan auto thefts dropped by approximately 51 percent, compared to a decrease in auto thefts nationally of only 22 percent. In 2008, Michigan maintained its ranking as the state with the sixth highest total motor vehicle thefts in the nation.
  • In 2008, Wayne County topped the list of Michigan counties with the highest reported motor vehicle thefts at 59 percent (20,950 thefts). Macomb and Oakland Counties accounted for 8.84 percent (3,134 thefts) and 8.31 percent (2,949 thefts) of Michigan’s motor vehicle thefts, respectively.
  • The 2000 Dodge Caravan topped Michigan’s list of most stolen vehicles in 2008. Thieves’ top color preferences for vehicles to steal were once again black, followed by white and blue.
  • The months with the highest auto theft figures in 2008 were July, August and June.
  • Though the city of Detroit once again saw an overall decrease in vehicle thefts, from 19,655 in 2007 to 16,117 in 2008 (-18 percent), it is still the highest ranking city in Michigan for auto thefts.

Among some of Michigan’s other large cities, decreases in auto theft were seen in:

  • Grand Rapids – From 589 in 2007 to 453 in 2008, a decrease of 23 percent.
  • Flint – From 1,034 in 2007 to 904 in 2008, a decrease of 12.6 percent.
  • Southfield – 631 in 2007 to 540 in 2008, a decrease of 14.4 percent.
  • Lansing – From 357 in 2007 to 333 in 2008, a decrease of 6.7 percent.

Some Michigan cities that saw increases in auto theft in 2008 include:

  • Westland – From 332 in 2007 to 423 in 2008, an increase of 27.4 percent.
  • Hazel Park – From 170 in 2007 to 205 in 2008, an increase of 20.6 percent.
  • Warren – From 1,163 in 2007 to 1,274, an increase of 9.5 percent.
  • Dearborn – From 801 in 2007 to 835 in 2008, an increase of 4.2 percent.

Source: H.E.A.T.

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