The National Insurance Crime Bureau reported Tuesday that national vehicle thefts numbers declined for the seventh consecutive year. Though the overall number of car thefts is down, there were still plenty of stolen cars to report.
The West Coast earned the dubious honor of being home to all of the Top 10 Hot Spots for car thieves in the United States. California is the car theft capital with eight of the top ten spots within its borders. Perhaps somewhat surprising, Washington State was runner up for ripped off cars with two cities named as Hot Spots, Spokane and Yakima.
The Hot Spots report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center. The FBI’s preliminary 2010 crime statistics published last month indicate a 7.2 percent drop in vehicle thefts from 2009’s number of almost 800,000 stolen cars. If that estimate holds when the final statistics are published in the fall, it would result in the lowest annual vehicle thefts since 1967.
According to the report anti-theft technology and law enforcement efforts have had a significant impact on thefts. Experts recommend four “layers of protection” against vehicle theft: Common Sense, Audible Warning Device’s, Immobilizing Device’s and the final layer of protection… a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen.