• According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reports, a motor vehicle was stolen in the United States every 40 seconds. The odds of a vehicle being stolen were 1 in 270 in 2008 (latest data available based on registrations from the Federal Highway Administration, thefts from the FBI and calculated by the Insurance Information Institute). The odds are highest in urban areas.
  • U.S. motor vehicle thefts fell 17 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. In 2009, 794,616 motor vehicles were reported stolen.
  • In 2009 the South accounted for the largest share of thefts—37.8 percent, followed by the West, 34.2 percent. The Midwest accounted for 18.0 percent of thefts and the Northeast for 10.0 percent.
  • Nationwide the 2009 motor vehicle theft rate per 100,000 people was 258.8, down 17.8 percent from 315.0 in 2008. The highest rate was reported in the West, 380.0, down 17.7 percent from 461.7 in 2008. The rate of motor vehicles stolen was 265.2  in the South, down 17.8 percent from 2008; 213.6 in the Midwest, down 18.7 percent; and 143.6 in the Northeast, down 17.5 percent.
  • Only 12.4 percent of thefts were cleared, either by arrests or by exceptional means, in 2009.
  • Insurance Premiums: The average comprehensive insurance premium in the U.S. fell 3.3 percent from $145.16 in 2005 to $140.38 in 2006 (the most recent data available), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  • Carjackings: Carjackings occur most frequently in urban areas. They accounted for only 3.0 percent of all motor vehicle thefts, based on Department of Justice data from 1993 to 2002 (latest available).




    • Thefts By City: According to a National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB, ) study released in June 2011, the Fresno, California Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had the highest rate per capita for vehicle thefts in the nation in 2010. The NICB noted that while the top five ‘hot spots’ for 2010 showed an increase in thefts compared with 2009, the rest of the top ten actually had fewer thefts.

 IIHS 2011 List of Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles


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