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Auto Theft in the U.S.: A Driver’s Manual

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Ins and Outs
Most Frequently Stolen
States with Most Stolen
Parts Most Wanted
Keep Your Car Safe
AUTO THEFT IN THE U.S.:
A DRIVER'S MANUAL
THE INS AND OUTS OF MOTOR VEHICLE
THEFT IN THE UNITED STATES

Most of those cars were stolen in July and August, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 44 percent of those cars weren't recovered, according to the NHTSA. The average loss per stolen vehicle in 2014 was $6,537, according to the FBI UCR Program. In total, an estimated $4.5 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft countrywide in 2014, according to the FBI UCR Program. But as of 2015, only 40 percent of Americans frequently or occasionally (as opposed to rarely or never) worry about having their car stolen or broken into, according to Gallup.
689,527 In 2014, 689,527 motor vehicles were reported stolen across the nation, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
  • Most of those cars were stolen in July and August, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • 44 percent of those cars weren't recovered, according to the NHTSA.
  • The average loss per stolen vehicle in 2014 was $6,537, according to the FBI UCR Program.
  • In total, an estimated $4.5 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft countrywide in 2014, according to the FBI UCR Program.
  • But as of 2015, only 40 percent of Americans frequently or occasionally (as opposed to rarely or never) worry about having their car stolen or broken into, according to Gallup.
Click on the arrows to browse facts.
THE MOST FREQUENTLY STOLEN VEHICLES
Honda Accord Honda Civic Ford Pickup (Full Size)*
*Full-size pickups include half-ton and larger capacity models for all makes.
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)*
*Full-size pickups include half-ton and larger capacity models for all makes.
Toyota Camry Dodge Pickup (Full Size)*
*Full-size pickups include half-ton and larger capacity models for all makes.
Dodge Caravan Nissan Altima Acura Integra Nissan Maxima
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Number of Thefts in 2014
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
State with the Most Thefts of This Model
CALIFORNIA
CALIFORNIA
TEXAS
TEXAS
CALIFORNIA
TEXAS
ILLINOIS
CALIFORNIA
CALIFORNIA
CALIFORNIA
Model Year Most Stolen in That State
1996
1998
2006
2005
1991
2004
2000
1997
1994
1996
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WHICH STATES SEE THE MOST STOLEN VEHICLES?*
Click on a number to view the state.
*Data is from NICB and represents the totals for 2012 through 2014.
CALIFORNIA
TEXAS
FLORIDA
MICHIGAN
OHIO
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PARTS MOST WANTED
KEEPING YOUR CAR SAFE
Want to keep your car — and your stuff — safe? These five tips may help:
(Click on a number below to view tips.)
Always remove your keys from the ignition and take them with you. While this may seem obvious, Ernest Long, crime prevention coordinator for the City of Aventura, Florida, and National Crime Prevention Council member, notes that between 23 and 29 percent of cars stolen in the state of Florida are taken with their keys still inside.
Park with your wheels turned toward the curb. This can help make it harder for your car to be stolen with a tow truck, as can engaging your emergency brake, Long says.
Etch your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your car windows and major parts. This may help make vehicles and parts easier to trace if your car is stolen. VIN etchings are offered by many car dealerships and local police departments. Do-it-yourself VIN etching kits can also be found at some car specialty stores or online.
Invest in an extra anti-theft device. Visible deterrents, like steering-wheel locking devices, can make cars less appealing to thieves, according to Long.
Identify your vehicle. Placing business cards or other forms of identification inside your vehicle doors may help law enforcement identify your vehicle or parts later. Just be sure not to leave anything with your home address on it, so potential thieves can't learn where you live. Also, engraving any expensive accessories like car stereos or external speakers helps makes them more difficult for thieves to offload, according to Long.
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Always remove your keys from the ignition and take them with you. While this may seem obvious, Ernest Long, crime prevention coordinator for the City of Aventura, Florida, and National Crime Prevention Council member, notes that between 23 and 29 percent of cars stolen in the state of Florida are taken with their keys still inside.
Park with your wheels turned toward the curb. This can help make it harder for your car to be stolen with a tow truck, as can engaging your emergency brake, Long says.
Etch your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your car windows and major parts. This may help make vehicles and parts easier to trace if your car is stolen. VIN etchings are offered by many car dealerships and local police departments. Do-it-yourself VIN etching kits can also be found at some car specialty stores or online.
Invest in an extra anti-theft device. Visible deterrents, like steering-wheel locking devices, can make cars less appealing to thieves, according to Long.
Identify your vehicle. Placing business cards or other forms of identification inside your vehicle doors may help law enforcement identify your vehicle or parts later. Just be sure not to leave anything with your home address on it, so potential thieves can't learn where you live. Also, engraving any expensive accessories like car stereos or external speakers helps makes them more difficult for thieves to offload, according to Long.
A car is stolen in the United States every 45 seconds, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That means while you've been reading this infographic,
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9
cars may have been stolen. Related Stories
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