Arizona Auto Thefts Down

May 19, 2010

Auto thefts in Arizona are declining with law enforcement and insurance industry partnerships to reduce crime and losses. Recent national data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows the Tucson and Phoenix areas, ranked in the top 10 areas for auto theft rates based on population in 2007, have dropped to 24th and 40th respectively in 2009.

Tucson reduced auto thefts nearly in half, from 7,781 in 2007 to 4,463 in 2009. Phoenix had similar results from 34,182 auto thefts in 2007 to 17,307 in 2009. In fact, each of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in the state all reported sharp declines in the same period.

“Reducing auto thefts takes the commitment and coordination of state and local law enforcement, prosecutors and the insurance industry,” said Ron Williams, executive director of the Arizona Insurance Council (AIC). “Fortunately, Arizona’s Automobile Theft Authority (AATA) has done a great job of pulling together all the resources necessary to reduce crime and prevent insurance losses.”

The AATA coordinates law enforcement activities in the state to arrest and prosecute auto thieves and has over a 60 percent success rate in recovering stolen vehicles. The work of the AATA is funded by a $1 fee on annual written auto insurance premiums in Arizona and is supported by insurance industry cooperation with investigations and donation of equipment and resources to apprehend criminals.

“The AATA reports the economic losses from auto thefts in 2008 were above $282 million. Those losses show up in the auto insurance premiums we all pay,” says Williams. “Through the insurance industry’s cooperation and support of these efforts, we are helping to reduce crime and the economic impact on all of us.”

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