Hot Spots: NICB’s Annual Report on Vehicle Theft

June 19, 2012

A new report suggests that 2011 is on track as yet another consecutive year of declining vehicle thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

Four of the top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) reported more thefts in 2011, while the remaining six posted fewer.

It is important to note the Hot Spots report is a reflection of vehicle thefts on a per capita basis. An area with a much smaller population and a moderate number of thefts can—and often does—have a higher theft rate than an area with a much more significant vehicle theft problem and a larger population to absorb it.

2011 Ranking 2010 Ranking
1. Fresno, Calif. 1
2. Modesto, Calif. 2
3. Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. 3
4. Spokane, Wash. 4
5. Yakima, Wash. 10
6. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, Calif. 9
7. Stockton, Calif. 7
8. Anderson, S.C. 33
9. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif. 5
10. Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 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 Fresno, Calif., MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Fresno, not just the city of Fresno.

The FBI’s preliminary 2011 crime statistics released last week indicate a 3.3 percent drop in vehicle thefts from the 2010 number of 737,142. Contributing to this decline was the significant drop in the rankings of the Laredo, Texas MSA—from Number 1 in 2009 to 53 in 2011. Within two years, Laredo’s thefts were down 53 percent, from 1,792 in 2009 to 849 in 2011.

Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau

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