Thursday, May 10, 2012

“Hey, Dude, Where’s My Car?”

During the cold winter months, we usually see an increase in the number of auto thefts. This mostly occurs when people leave their cars running unattended to warm them up. It’s obviously a lot warmer outside now and you would expect the number of auto thefts to diminish, but lately it seems as if the number continues to grow larger.

So far in the first quarter of 2012, the Overland Park Police Department has taken a total of 68 stolen auto reports. That number may not mean a whole lot until you compare it to last year’s numbers.

Through the end of April in 2011, we had 72 auto thefts. Just by looking at that, you could easily surmise the numbers are lower than last year, which they are. The difference this year is really happening during the month of May, where we’ve seen a drastic increase over the first ten days compared to last year. There were 28 reported auto thefts during the whole month of May, 2011, and so far this month we’ve already taken 19 reports. This number may level out, but it could also signal a large increase during the upcoming summer months.

Automobile theft is still the most expensive property crime in the United States. According to FBI statistics, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 40 seconds. The financial loss in 2011 is estimated to be well over $5 billion dollars.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released the following list which identifies the top ten most stolen vehicles by make and year.

Rank      Vehicle                Year
1             Honda Accord      1994

2             Honda Civic         1995

3             Toyota Camry      1991

4             Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) 1999

5             Ford F150 Series/Pickup 1997

6             Dodge Ram           2004

7             Dodge Caravan      2000

8             Acura Integra         1994

9             Ford Explorer        2002

10           Ford Taurus           1999