Motor vehicle theft is on the decline, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program reports. In 2010, there were 737,142 thefts, or attempted motor vehicle thefts. Overall, motor vehicle thefts declined 7.4 percent in 2010 from 2009, 38.5 percent from 2006, and 40.0 percent from 2001.
The FBI defines a motor vehicle as an SUV, automobile, truck, bus, motorcycle, motor scooter, all-terrain vehicle, or snowmobile. Airplane, farm or construction equipment, train, and houseboat, among others, are not motor vehicles.
This is great news for consumers, automakers, and insurers, since those thefts cost roughly $4.5 billion dollars, and on average, $6152 per stolen vehicle. Most of today’s cars come from the assembly line with strong theft deterrent systems. With the use of aftermarket radio-frequency tracking monitors like LoJack, the business of thievery could soon be in jeopardy, especially if the best deterrent is a plain old manual transmission.
Ford estimates that 40- to 50- percent of vehicle theft is due to driver negligence, such as leaving doors unlocked or the keys in the ignition. Ford recommends never leaving keys in or on your vehicle; lock all windows and doors when you park; garage your vehicle if possible; and to never leave valuables, such as iPods and cell phones inside your car.
But according to the FBI’s data, the most interesting news is that “locally stolen motor vehicles” had a 56.1 percent recovery rate, better by far than office equipment (5.1 percent), consumable goods (7.0 percent), and livestock (12.8 percent).
“That’s a far cry from the 70-75% it was in the 1980s,” says Jeremy Warnick, communications manager for LoJack.
With such a bad success rate, perhaps thieves should start eating the cars they steal. Like this guy who ate an airplane.
Source: FBI, Ford, LoJack