Auto Thefts Surge In 2020 The National Insurance Crime Bureau Reports

Julia M. Tyson

DES PLAINES, Ill., Jan. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A preliminary analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows auto theft took a dramatic leap upward in 2020 compared to 2019, reversing two years of auto theft declines.

“Preliminary reports indicate a sharp increase in automobile thefts for 2020,” said NICB President and CEO David Glawe.

According to its initial study, there were 873,080 auto thefts in 2020, a 9.2 percent increase over 2019 which had 799,644 thefts, a boost of more than 73,000 thefts.

“Preliminary reports indicate a sharp increase in automobile thefts for 2020,” said NICB President and CEO David Glawe. “All indications are 2020 will be the largest theft year in the past decade by a significant margin.”

According to the findings, every month in 2020 showed increases compared to 2019. Overall, the yearly increase was 9.2 percent, however each month from June through December showed double digit gains.

Auto Thefts 2019 vs 2020

Month

2019

2020

{11267971deaf0da66182ac40f7f045fd96ca421f04ac3850328ca3f52bba07e3} Change



Month

2019

2020

{11267971deaf0da66182ac40f7f045fd96ca421f04ac3850328ca3f52bba07e3} Change

Jan



67,342

68,049

1.00

Jul

72,202



80,015

10.80

Feb

58,361

60,859



4.30

Aug

70,910

80,121

13.00



Mar

62,453

63,838

2.20

Sep



67,686

75,974

12.20

Apr

61,723



65,337

5.90

Oct

68,867

79,643



15.60

May

67,538

69,641

3.10



Nov

65,851

77,702

18.00

Jun



67,493

75,621

12.00

Dec

69,218



76,280

10.20

“Based on the preliminary nature of the data, the cause of this increase will require a thorough intelligence assessment,” said Glawe. “Considerations such as the pandemic, economic downturn, loss of juvenile outreach programs and public safety budgetary and resource limitations are likely contributing factors. Thieves exploit opportunities and may look for vehicles parked in the same location or citizens not taking proper measures to secure their vehicles.”

If you see something say something by contacting local law enforcement if you suspect questionable activity in your neighborhood.

Given the unique circumstances of 2020, the NICB is distributing this data in advance of its much-anticipated annual Hot Spots report to be released in mid-2021. Due to the scrutiny the data receives from NICB analysts, the Hot Spots report will likely differ to a small extent from this initial analysis.

In response to the increase in auto thefts, the NICB created a new public service announcement highlighting steps people can take to reduce the chances of having their car stolen.

PSA: Prevent Auto Theft – 30 Seconds
https://youtu.be/4LoopZKQ67c

Vehicle owners must guard against complacency and remember to heed simple tips to safeguard their vehicles. NICB recommends drivers follow four layers of protection to guard against vehicle theft.

  • Common sense. Vehicle owners should always remove keys from the ignition, lock doors and windows, and park in well-lit areas.
  • Warning devices. These include visible and audible alarms. Aftermarket alarms are available for all makes and models of cars. Visual devices include column collars, steering wheel locks, and brake locks.
  • Immobilizing devices. The third layer of protection prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some examples are smart keys; fuse cut-offs; kill switches; starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers; and wireless ignition authentication.
  • Tracking devices. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner, and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.
  • For additional auto theft prevention tips, please click here.

    REPORT FRAUD: Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422)or submitting a form on our website.

    ABOUT THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, learning and development, government affairs and public affairs. The NICB is supported by more than 1,400 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote more than $526 billion in insurance premiums in 2019, or more than 82{11267971deaf0da66182ac40f7f045fd96ca421f04ac3850328ca3f52bba07e3} of the nation’s property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95{11267971deaf0da66182ac40f7f045fd96ca421f04ac3850328ca3f52bba07e3} ($241 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

     

    National Insurance Crime Bureau logo (PRNewsfoto/National Insurance Crime Bureau)

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    SOURCE National Insurance Crime Bureau

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