NICB Report: Texas Leads the Nation in Pickup Truck Thefts

California and Florida Round Out the Top Three States

PickupTruck2014GraphicDES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 11, 2014 — As revealed in a new report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), pickup trucks are a popular choice for both personal and work use, and given their wide range of applications and utility, they have become a favorite target by vehicle thieves as well. Between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013, 9,441 pickup trucks were reported stolen. Full-sized pickup trucks had more thefts with 8,367 thefts versus 895 for compact pickups. Mid-sized pickup trucks had the fewest thefts with 179.

The report looks at theft data only for model years 2011, 2012 and 2013 pickups stolen between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013. The classes of pickups are compact, mid-size and full size as described in Automotive News’ Data Center.

Read the full press release in the NICB Newsroom.

 

Joe Wehrle, NICB President, to Address International Financial Crimes Investigators

Insurance Fraud and its Impact on the Insurance Industry

NICB President & CEO Joe Wehrle

NICB President & CEO Joe Wehrle

PHOENIX, Ariz.—National Insurance Crime Bureau President and Chief Executive Officer, Joe Wehrle, will address the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators during its annual training conference today in Phoenix.

Wehrle will provide an overview of the changing face of insurance fraud and how it is impacting the property and casualty insurance industry. From medical fraud rings to organized criminal elements hijacking goods from interstate transportation networks, Wehrle will describe what NICB investigators and their insurance and law enforcement colleagues are encountering across America—and what NICB is doing to stop it.

Topics to be discussed include NICB’s major medical fraud task force operations, the alarming rise in questionable claims, stolen vehicle and specialized equipment recovery efforts and NICB’s analysis of vehicle finance scams.

Wehrle will address attendees comprised of law enforcement, bank and credit card fraud investigators, retail merchant investigators and loss prevention professionals, among others, during two presentations beginning at 2:00pm today at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Hotel. For additional information visit here.

About the IAFCI: The association, a non-profit international organization, will provide services and an environment within which information about financial fraud, fraud investigation and fraud prevention methods can be collected, exchanged and taught for the common good of the financial payment industry and our global society. To learn more visit www.iafci.org.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote $371 billion in insurance premiums in 2013, or more than 78 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($168 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

NICB’s Hot Wheels: America’s 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

NICBHotWheelsSocialDES PLAINES, Ill., Aug. 18, 2014 — 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 2013.

Also in today’s release is a list of the top 25 2013 vehicle makes and models that were reported stolen in calendar year 2013.

For 2013, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses):

1. Honda Accord (53,995)
2. Honda Civic (45,001)
3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,809)
4. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,494)
5. Toyota Camry (14,420)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,347)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,911)
8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
9. Toyota Corolla (9,010)
10. Nissan Altima (8,892)

Read the full press release.

NICB Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

California Is Hotter Than Ever With Nine of 10 Top Spots

NICBTimelineBlogDes Plaines, IL—Since 1984, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has published annual reports—known today as Hot Spots—that examine vehicle theft at the national and local level. NICB was originally established in 1912 as the Automobile Protective and Information Bureau and the company focused exclusively on recovering stolen motor vehicles that were insured by its 11 member insurance companies.

Name changes and mission expansion over the years evolved into today’s NICB—with over 1,100 member insurance companies. Although recovering stolen vehicles remains a central function at NICB, our special agents, investigative assistants, intelligence analysts, trainers, government and public affairs personnel are equally focused on other pervasive fraud schemes, particularly within the medical and commercial environments.

Read more.

NICB Names 10 Most-Stolen SUVs/CUVs

Ford Models Hold First, Second and Third Place

DES PLAINES, Ill., June 16, 2014 – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released a new report that examines thefts of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) reported stolen between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2013. The data was further refined with thefts of 2011, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles only. Using those parameters, a total of 21,711 SUVs/CUVs were reported stolen during the period.

SUVTheftsThe top five makes and models stolen during the period were: Ford Escape (1,421), Ford Edge (1,140), Ford Explorer (958), Jeep Grand Cherokee (912) and the Kia Sorento (725). In terms of class, compact CUVs experienced the most thefts with 6,981. Large CUVs were next with 3,206, followed by mid-sized CUVs (3,204), large SUVs (2,902) and premium CUVs (2,394).

The top five states for SUV/CUV thefts were California (3,531), Florida (1,897), Michigan (1,834), Texas (1,686) and New York (1,577).

 

Read the full press release.

Super Good – The Epic Fraud Fighter

SuperGoodFraudImageIf fighting fraud were made into a comic book, it might look something like this. An injustice, such as vehicle theft, has occurred. The victim calls out for help. In the near distance, the good guys come to save the day. All is set right and ends well in the world – in theory.

In reality, despite their extraordinary dedication and commitment, even fraud fighters sometimes get the blues. In the ongoing saga of fighting fraud, the “good guys” of this epic tale are fraud fighters and those of us who stand up to villains. Villains are those who participate in and perpetrate fraud schemes. But unlike Superman, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman or other famed heroes, our powers, more suitably deemed abilities, aren’t extraordinary at all or the result of some scientific mishap or cosmic occurrence. Rather, they are earned responsibilities undertaken as a result of what each of us embraces and upholds.

Some days we win, and some days we lose. By win, I mean that we stop criminals from being able to further victimize the public. And by lose, I mean when the criminals are able to continue to perpetrate more fraudulent schemes. Sometimes we make headlines for taking down criminal enterprises and other illegal operations. And sometimes, the good that we do goes completely unnoticed or acknowledged by the public. Dare I say fraud fighters are sometimes even viewed as the villains or vilified for their efforts? It’s all part of the landscape. But sometimes, even the most ardent fraud fighter has probably asked himself or herself if it’s ever enough. Will this battle ever end? Why do the schemes and crimes just continue to become more and more abysmal and shocking?

Fraud isn’t just about padding a claim to get additional funds from an insurer. It’s also about people who are senselessly injured or killed by criminals staging vehicle accidents. It’s about residents of a community or employees of a company who suffer the consequences from an act of arson. It’s about the person who loses their life when a criminal purposely causes them harm to collect on a life insurance policy. The list of heinous schemes goes on and on. And the more battles that a fraud fighter encounters, the more disheartening and appalling the scenarios and schemes will inevitably become.
It would be trite to end this story with a cliché comic book expression such as “And as the public sleeps for the night, they can rest easy knowing that their heroes keep a watchful eye.” That can never be the case as long as opportunists and greed abound. They are at the root of fraud. But all is not lost. Just as new villains emerge each day, so too shall new fraud fighters. It’s the person who reports fraud or suspicious activity. It’s the person who questions their provider about a procedure that seems medically unnecessary. Whatever the case, joining the fight against fraud will not entail having to wear a cape,
leaping tall buildings, or travelling faster than a speeding bullet. One need only subscribe to the belief that fraud must be defeated whenever and wherever it exists.

NICB’s Hot Wheels: Popular 10 Most Stolen Vehicles List Gets a Makeover

Check out the latest NICB Hot Wheels report. The new data-rich version offers more detailed data and a new list of 2012’s most stolen 2012 Models.

For 2012, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses):

1. Honda Accord (58,596)
2. Honda Civic (47,037)
3. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,770)
4. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (23,745)
5. Toyota Camry (16,251)
6. Dodge Caravan (11,799)
7. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,755)
8. Acura Integra (9,555)
9. Nissan Altima (9,169)
10. Nissan Maxima (6,947)

The new feature in Hot Wheels this year is the addition of a list of the top 25 model year 2012 vehicles that were most stolen in calendar year 2012. The top 10 on this list are:

1. Nissan Altima (921)
2. Chevrolet Impala (778)
3. Chevrolet Malibu (727)
4. Toyota Camry (665)
5. Ford Fusion (655)
6. Ford Pickup Full Size (595)
7. Ford Focus (523)
8. Chrysler 200 (449)
9. Dodge Charger (416)
10. Dodge Avenger (412)

Watch the accompanying video for the report. Download the press release and learn more about the report by visiting us online at www.nicb.org.

NICB’s “Hot Wheels” vs. the Highway Loss Data Institute’s “Theft Claims Rate” Reports

Each year the NICB publishes a report that identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in each state and the nation. Formally known as “Hot Wheels,” NICB’s report examines all vehicle theft reports taken by law enforcement around the nation and entered into the FBI-managed, National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.

In preparation for Hot Wheels, an NICB analyst will collect all the valid theft reports from NCIC for a given year. The analyst then distills a list of the most stolen vehicles in the nation. It’s a simple equation: a vehicle theft report in NCIC gets counted as a vehicle theft by NICB.

Whether or not a stolen vehicle is insured makes no difference in the statistical tally produced by NICB. Indeed, most vehicles on the road today are not covered for theft (as the vehicle ages and decreases in value, many drivers choose to drop their theft coverage). So any analysis of stolen vehicles that uses only insurance claims as a dataset will produce a vastly different report.

Our good friends at the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have been developing their own list over the past several years and the recent headlines generated by their report caused some confusion. The HLDI news release carried the headline, “Ford F-250 has highest theft rate of any 2010-12 vehicle” and then went on to say, “The Ford F-250 has replaced the Cadillac Escalade as the favorite target of thieves, the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) reports. New anti-theft technology on the Escalade, as well as its waning popularity, are two likely reasons the luxury SUV has fallen from first to sixth place in the ranking of vehicles with the highest rates of insurance claims for theft.”

Herein lies the confusion. Many of the media headlines said something like, “Ford Pickup Truck Tops Among Thieves,” which is true only if you’re looking at insured vehicle theft claims for 2010-2012 models year…not necessarily actual thefts of the vehicles…and not thefts of uninsured vehicles.

To make it on the NICB most stolen vehicle list, a vehicle has to be stolen—the entire vehicle. To be included in HLDI’s analysis, an insurance theft claim must be filed, but the theft item could be a mirror from a Ford F-250 and nothing more. Get the picture?

So context is important.

As for our Hot Wheels report for 2012, it is being prepared and should be released in the next few weeks.

NICB Blue – The First Female Agents: Part II

Sr. Special Agent Heidi J. (18 Years of Service)
What was your occupation prior to joining the NICB?
Prior to NICB, I was with the Hanover Insurance Company for eight years within the claim department. Most of the claims I investigated involved complex coverage issues, commercial liability and fatalities. I was very fortunate in my career there to have supervisors who allowed me to run with an investigation rather than referring the claim over to SIU whenever fraud was found.

Prior to that, I had a background as a medical assistant. However, one of the key things that helped me was having a brother who was eight years older than I. One of us was always under the hood of a vehicle that needed mechanical attention or that we’d damaged. That could have been a car, truck or snowmobile. So, I always had an interest in anything with an engine.

Why did you decide to work for the NICB?
In my years at Hanover, I thoroughly enjoyed the complex investigations. However, investigations were not necessarily the focus of my position. One of Hanover’s long-time SIU investigators knew that I had a strong interest in investigations and recommended me for the position when NICB’s “New England Region” office had an opening for New Hampshire. It was a perfect fit as I had just moved to New Hampshire. I’ve always appreciated NICB’s willingness to take the chance on me given that I did not have a law enforcement background.

What were your early experiences as an agent?
One experience that I’ll always remember was spending a frozen New England winter day with a former NICB/NATB (National Auto Theft Bureau) Agent who walked me through a salvage yard for hours and hours, looking at SVINs on every model of vehicle imaginable. I wondered how I could ever retain all of the information. I also recall working on the largest vehicle theft and fraud case the State of New Hampshire ever had. Part of the investigation allowed me to participate in a federal wire tap as a civilian ‘expert.’ Not coming from a law enforcement background was a mental challenge for me in getting my foot in the door with numerous agencies. I always had a comfort level interacting with the member companies. Once the officers knew that I was willing to be in the mud or snow or under a burned vehicle to identify it, enabling them to stay clean, they were very welcoming.

What has been the most important thing that you’ve learned in your time as an agent?
I’ve learned to be flexible and willing to learn something new every day. Criminals have plenty of free time each day to initiate new schemes, so it’s a challenge to keep up with the trends. Also, each day you think you will be doing A, B and C. But at the end of the day, you’ve completed C, D and part of E!

What advice would you give to future women agents?
Recognize that you have a unique skill set that you bring to the job. Be tenacious and never give up. Being able to provide assistance and expertise is very rewarding. You will be treated as an equal and a respected partner in your investigations.  It’s an interesting and challenging job. And after almost 18 years, I can honestly say I still love it and wouldn’t want to do anything else.

NICB Hot Wheels Report Names 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

The NICB recently released its Hot Wheels report for 2010. Hot Wheels identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the nation and in each state using data provided by law enforcement and contained in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

As the report clearly shows, the most stolen vehicles are not always the sparkling-new “glamobiles” piloted by paparazzi-dodging celebrities. Make no mistake, their class of ride gets jacked too, but not nearly in the numbers experienced by older Hondas, Toyotas and domestic brands.

So what’s up with that?

Year after year, Hondas and Toyotas have dominated our Hot Wheels report. In a way, that’s a backhanded compliment. These are very popular vehicles and there are
millions of them on the road—a testament to their durability and their owners’ satisfaction.
So what if they get banged up in an accident?

Insurance may cover the repair costs within your policy limits. You take it to a few places and get estimates then leave it with the shop that is mutually agreeable to you and your insurance company. But some repair facilities are shady and obtain replacement parts from older or stolen vehicles.

That’s fraud and that drives up the cost of insurance for all of us.

How can you protect yourself from these kinds of scams? Use reputable business owners. Most repair shops are staffed with decent, hard-working and honest employees. But some are not. If you are uncomfortable with a repair facility, look for another.

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