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It’s not uncommon to hear about vehicular theft these days. According to FBI data, your car has a greater chance of being stolen in some places in the U.S. more than others. Here’s everything you need to know about stolen vehicles in America, according to the FBI.

Vehicular theft in the United States

In 2018, the FBI released its Uniform Crime Report Data, which includes information on stolen vehicles. While there was a 3.1% drop in theft from 2017 to 2018, a vehicle was stolen every 42.2 seconds in 2018. This amounts to $6.3 billion in loss with 748,841 total motor vehicles stolen. Out of that total, 74.9% were automobiles.

Motor vehicles are defined as self-propelled vehicles that operate on land areas and not rails. All-terrain vehicles, automobiles, buses, motorcycles, scooters, SUVs, and trucks all fall under the definition of motor vehicles.

Were any of these stolen vehicles recovered? According to the data, the recovery rate for these stolen vehicles was 59.3% in 2018. Doing the math, this means just over 300,000 vehicles weren’t recovered. It’s a hard number to pinpoint because vehicles are recovered across the U.S. daily.

The worst states for stolen vehicles

The data revealed that 29 states saw a decrease in vehicular theft in 2018. But, the number of thefts rose in 21 states. The decrease covers the lowest drop of two in Kansas to the biggest drop of 13,190 in California. The increases in 2018 covers two more thefts in North Dakota and 1,913 more thefts in Tennessee.

Here are the top 10 U.S. States for motor vehicle theft, according to the total number of thefts for the year:

  1. California: 155,211
  2. Texas: 69,817
  3. Florida: 41,165
  4. Washington: 27,677
  5. Georgia: 24,760
  6. Colorado: 21,673
  7. Tennessee: 20,439
  8. Ohio: 19,909
  9. Illinois: 19,593
  10. Arizona: 19,139

Even though these states’ populations are dense and they have a lot of vehicles on the road, those living in the Northeast see less theft in general. The data reveals that states like Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont see fewer thefts than the rest of the nation.

Which vehicles are being stolen the most?

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the most stolen vehicles in America are:

  • Honda Civic (1998)
  • Honda Accord (1997)
  • Ford F-150 (2006)
  • Chevrolet Silverado (2004)
  • Toyota Camry (2017)
  • Nissan Altima (2016)
  • Toyota Corolla (2016)
  • Dodge/Ram Pickup (2001)
  • GMC Sierra (2017)
  • Chevrolet Impala (2008)

Precautions to prevent a stolen vehicle

According to the NICB, you can do some things to prevent the likelihood that your car will be stolen. There are also important steps you can take if your vehicle is stolen.

  • Always lock the vehicle, set any alarms, and take all keys and/or fobs.
  • Garage door remotes should never be left in your vehicle.
  • Keep an image of your vehicle’s registration on your cell phone.
  • Don’t keep your vehicle’s registration or documents with other personal information in your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave an unlocked vehicle running for a quick stop or to warm it in the winter.
  • In the event that your vehicle is stolen, get in touch with the police first. Then you can contact your insurance company.

Those with information about any type of auto insurance fraud or vehicular theft can call 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422) or visit the NICB website. Information can be reported anonymously.

With headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois, the NICB is the top not-for-profit organization in the U.S. with the purpose of stamping out insurance fraud and vehicular theft.

Using data analysis, development and learning, government affairs, and public awareness, they conduct investigations and work to detect, prevent, and stop insurance fraud. The organization gets support from over 1,300 casualty and property companies along with some self-insured agencies.