Car thieves have been busy the last several years, stealing more cars than ever, since 2008.
Stolen Cars Reach Record Heights
According to a report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) on Wednesday, vehicle thefts in the United States exceeded one million in 2022, marking the first time in almost 15 years, while several areas continue to suffer from extremely high rates of auto crime.
The NICB conducted an analysis utilizing information from the National Crime Information Center and discovered that vehicle theft increased by 7% in the past year, reaching a total of 1,001,967. This is the highest level of vehicle theft reported since 2008 when 1.05 million vehicles were stolen.
Last year, California had the highest number of car thefts in the country, with 202,658 incidents, followed by Texas, where slightly over 100,000 vehicles were stolen. However, the state with the most significant increase from the previous year was Illinois, which saw a 35% rise, followed by Washington (31%) and New York (23%), according to the study.
“There is very little deterrent to stop criminals from committing these acts as they are just property crimes, like shoplifting,” said NICB president and CEO David J. Glawe.
‘Training’ for Car Thieves on TikTok
Last year, a TikTok challenge circulated on social media, exposing the vulnerabilities of certain Kia and Hyundai models, which aided criminals. Thefts of these models, made by the South Korean sister companies, increased as much as 300% in some areas.
As a result, a few cities that were overwhelmed by the surge in auto crimes have threatened to sue the automakers for negligence.
“To stop this lawless behavior, we must re-invest in our law enforcement partners, support community engagement and policing programs, and implement successful early intervention programs for at risk youth,” Glawe said.
Prevent Car Theft
To prevent vehicle theft, the NICB recommends several measures for auto owners to follow, including keeping the windows rolled up, locking the doors, and avoiding leaving keys or a fob in the vehicle. The organization also advises parking in well-lit areas and areas under security surveillance when feasible.
If a car is stolen, the NICB advises owners to report the theft promptly to both law enforcement and their insurance company. This increases the likelihood that the vehicle will be recovered.
Glawe added, “NICB, along with our partners in law enforcement, are proactively working to prevent and deter vehicle theft, but vehicle owners should stay vigilant.”
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