Hot Spots in the Media

Here’s a list of media outlets who have picked up on our annual Hot Spots report:

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NICB’s 2015 Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

 

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Modesto Tops San Francisco With Worst Vehicle-Theft Rate in U.S.

 

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Car thieves love L.A.: California leads the nation (again) in auto thefts

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Top 100 Metro Areas for Vehicle Theft: NICB’s ‘Hot Spots’

 

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Bakersfield ranks No. 3 in nation for car thefts per capita

 

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California
owns eight of the top 10 hot spots for vehicle theft

Top Holidays for Vehicle Theft in 2014

Holiday car thieves had their busiest day in 2014 on, ironically, Labor Day, stealing 2,200 vehicles according to new data released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). NICB’s 2014 Annual Holiday Vehicle Theft Report analyzes data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which showed a total of 695,246 vehicle thefts for the year.

After Labor Day, New Year’s Day was the next most active holiday with 2,011 thefts. Halloween came in third with 2,010 thefts followed by Memorial Day with 1,933 thefts. Independence Day rounds out the top five holidays for 2014 with 1,877 thefts.

The holidays with the fewest thefts in 2014 were Christmas Day with 1,225 thefts and Thanksgiving with 1,384 thefts.

Holidays ranked by the number of thefts in 2014 were:

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By comparison, the day with the most thefts in all of 2014 was July 7 with 2,361.

NICB reminds drivers this holiday season when leaving your vehicle for whatever reason to take a moment and be sure to hide your valuables from view. Even an empty backpack looks appealing to a thief from the outside.

See the full holiday vehicle theft report here. Watch a video report here.

Watercraft Thefts Sink 6% (Again) in 2014

boatAs boat owners begin the annual task of winterizing and dry docking their boats for the season, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that watercraft theft continues to drop.

NICB’s annual report looks at watercraft theft and recoveries in the United States, and examines watercraft* reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,181 watercraft thefts reported during 2014, a six percent decrease from 2013 when 5,537 thefts were recorded. This is the second year in a row that watercraft thefts have dropped six percent: the number of thefts in 2012 was 5,870.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were:

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No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii or the District of Columbia.

The top five types of watercraft stolen in 2014 were:

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The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were:

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On average, there were approximately 14 watercraft thefts per day, 100 per week, or 432 per month in 2014. Most thefts occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 667. February recorded the fewest with 223.

Download the watercraft report and an infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.09.30 AMBoat owners are reminded to practice safe and smart boating. That includes personal safety while on the water, as well as theft prevention.

NICB recommends the following tips to protect your watercraft from theft:

  •  When you “dock it, lock it” and secure it to the dock with a steel cable
  • Remove expensive equipment when not in use
  • Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat
  • Do not leave title or registration papers in the craft
  • Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries
  • Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer
  • Install a kill switch in the ignition system
  • Ensure your marine insurance policy includes your equipment, boat and trailer
  •  Take photos of the boat and mark it with a Hull Identification Number (HIN)More anti-theft information can be found in our boat theft brochure.

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Metal Theft Claims Down 8% Since 2012

Continuing a recent trend, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports today that insured metal theft claims in 2014 were down 8 percent from 2012 levels.

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From 2012-2014 there have been 38,985 claims of copper theft in the U.S. (NICB)

In 2012, a total of 13,731 metal theft claims were processed. The number dropped to 13,632 in 2013 and decreased again in 2014 to 12,630—a decline of eight percent from 2012. During this three-year period, 39,993 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass or aluminum were handled—38,985 of them (98 percent) involving copper. When the number of metal theft claims per month and monthly average copper prices are compared, the number of claims filed is found to have a statistically-significant correlation with the price of copper.

As in our previous report on metal theft, Ohio ranked first of all the states generating 4,438 metal theft claims. It was followed by Pennsylvania (2,770), Texas (2,379), New Jersey (2,192) and California (2,127).

The top-five Core Based Statistical Areas generating the most metal theft claims were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (2,066); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (1,581); Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (1,487); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (1,086) and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (945).

You can review and download the full report here. Download the complete data set here or paste this into your browser: https://www.nicb.org/File%20Library/Public%20Affairs/ISO— States-Per-Year.xlsx.

While this report deals exclusively with submitted insurance claims, the ultimate impact of this activity falls, to some degree, on all consumers. Losses to businesses and government entities are shared with customers and taxpayers through higher costs for goods and services and/or reductions in services. Moreover, depending on the circumstances of the theft, these incidents may not generate an insurance claim, or even a police report. Consequently, comprehensive empirical data is elusive.

Individuals can do their part to prevent these kinds of thefts by simply being vigilant in their neighborhoods and business communities. If dwellings remain unoccupied for extended periods of time, they become magnets for unlawful behaviors. Wire stripping is among the activities that are routinely discovered in these locations. Your best protection is simply paying attention. Talk with your neighbors and ask one that you trust to keep watch on your home if you will be away. As always, you should report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency. Unreported crime may breed more crime.

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Honda Accord Tops the List for Most Stolen Vehicle in the U.S.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its annual Hot Wheels report which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2014.

Included with today’s release is a list of the top 25 2014 vehicle makes and models that were reported stolen in calendar year 2014.

For 2014, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses):

1. Honda Accord (51,290)
2. Honda Civic (43,936)
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (28,680)
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (23,196)
5. Toyota Camry (14,605)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,075)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,483)
8. Nissan Altima (9,109)
9. Acura Integra (6,902)
10. Nissan Maxima (6,586)

See the complete report here. Or paste this link into your browser: www.nicb.org/File Library/Public Affairs/2014_State_Top10for-release.xls.

The following are the top 10 2014 model year vehicles stolen during calendar year 2014 (total thefts in parentheses):

1. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (964)
2. Toyota Camry (869)
3. Ford Fusion (819)
4. Chevrolet Impala (746)
5. Nissan Altima (687)
6. Dodge Charger (680)
7. Taotao Industry Co. Scooter/Moped (592)
8. Toyota Corolla (578)
9. Chevrolet Cruze (566)
10. Ford Focus (505)

Download 2014’s complete top 25 most stolen list from this spreadsheet. Or paste this link into your browser: www.nicb.org/File Library/Public Affairs/Top25Modesl_NewModel-VehYear2014.xls. Although vehicle theft has been on a long downward trajectory, it is still a severe economic hardship for many to lose their vehicle to theft—especially if a vehicle is uninsured. That is why NICB continues to advise all drivers to review our four “Layers of Protection”:

  • Common Sense: Lock your car and take your keys. It’s simple enough, but many thefts occur because owners make it easy for thieves to steal their cars.
  • Warning Device: Having and using a visible or audible warning device is another item that can ensure that your car remains where you left it.
  • Immobilizing Device: Generally speaking, if your vehicle can’t be started, it can’t be stolen. “Kill” switches, fuel cut-offs and smart keys are among the devices that are extremely effective.
  • Tracking Device: A tracking device emits a signal to the police or to a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ “telematics,” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

Considering a used vehicle purchase? Check out VINCheck, a free vehicle history service for consumers. Since 2005, NICB has offered this limited service made possible by its participating member companies. Check it out at: www.nicb.org/vincheck.

*This report reflects stolen vehicle data contained in NCIC and present in the “NCIC mirror image” when accessed by NICB on March 2, 2015. NCIC records may contain errors based on inaccurate entries submitted by reporting agencies. Full size pickups include half ton and larger capacity models for all makes.

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2014 Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

stolen-carDes Plaines, Ill—California’s San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the nation’s highest per capita vehicle theft rate in 2014, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) latest Hot Spots report. 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 Bakersfield, Calif., MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Kern, not just the city of Bakersfield. Moreover, as a population-based survey, 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. For 2014, the 10 MSAs with the highest vehicle theft rates were: (thefts in parentheses)

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Although vehicle thefts are down dramatically around the nation, the reasons they are stolen remain the same. Older vehicles are stolen primarily for their parts value while newer, high- end vehicles often are shipped overseas or, after some disguising, sold to an innocent buyer locally.

Others, meanwhile, are still taken for the oldest of motivations—a “joyride” and when the thrill is gone, it is abandoned undamaged. The full Hot Spots report is available at www.nicb.org. NICB recommends that drivers follow our four “layers of protection” to guard against vehicle theft: Common Sense The common sense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost- effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:

  • Remove your keys from the ignition
  • Lock your doors /close your windows
  • Park in a well-lit area

Warning Device — The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:

  • Audible alarms
  • Steering column collars
  • Steering wheel/brake pedal lock
  • Brake locks
  • Wheel locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Identification markers in or on vehicle
  • VIN etching
  • Micro dot marking

Immobilizing Device — The third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs
  • Kill switches
  • Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication
Tracking Device — The final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ “telematics” which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

 
Here’s a report from Bloomberg Radio on the trend in California.