In this edition we focus on tornados in New Orleans, exorbitant towing fees across the country and we check in at this year’s Insurance Fraud Management Conference.
To previous newscasts click here.
The Winter Edition of our quarterly NICB News is now available. This edition looks at the Mystery Device thieves are using, thefts of vehicles with the keys left inside of them, and auto and crime issues in New Mexico.
Here’s a list of media outlets who have picked up on our annual Hot Spots report:
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:
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.
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:
No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii or the District of Columbia.
The top five types of watercraft stolen in 2014 were:
The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were:
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.
NICB recommends the following tips to protect your watercraft from theft:
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.
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.
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):
|3.||Ford Pickup (Full Size)||(28,680)|
|4.||Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||(23,196)|
|6.||Dodge Pickup (Full Size)||(11,075)|
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)|
|7.||Taotao Industry Co. Scooter/Moped||(592)|
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”:
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.
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:
Warning Device — The second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:
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:
Here’s a report from Bloomberg Radio on the trend in California.