October 9, 2007

U.S. vehicle theft in third year of decline, says insurance bureau

Des Plaines, Illinois – A report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau says that vehicle theft in the U.S. declined in 2006 for the third year in a row, but even so, a vehicle is stolen every 26.4 seconds in the U.S. In 2006, 1,192,809 vehicles were reported stolen, 42,417 fewer than in 2005.

For 2006, the most stolen vehicles in the U.S., in order, were the 1995 Honda Civic, 1991 Honda Accord, 1989 Toyota Camry, 1997 Ford F-150, 2005 Dodge Ram, 1994 Chevrolet C/K 1500, 1994 Nissan Sentra, 1994 Dodge Caravan, 1994 Saturn SL and 1990 Acura Integra.

Only 59 per cent of stolen vehicles were recovered in 2006, the lowest recovery rate in over a decade. The Bureau says that the outstanding vehicles “fuel a number of related insurance fraud and vehicle theft activities,” including export to foreign countries, vehicles falsely reported as stolen by their owners due to debt, and vehicles dismantled by “chop shops”.

To avoid vehicle theft, the Bureau reminds motorists to lock their vehicles and take the keys; use visible or audible warning devices; use fuel cut-offs or kill switches; or equip vehicles with tracking devices.

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