The FBI has released statistics from 2009 which indicate that auto theft is down to its lowest level in 20 years with 794,616 total thefts; 17% lower than the previous year. With the decline in total thefts, so goes the rate of recovery unfortunately, which stands currently at 42%; the lost in 25 years. Over $5 billion was lost as the result of motor vehicle theft, with the average loss coming to $6,505 per vehicle.
The low recovery rate is primarily attributed to more savvy thieves. Less prevalent today is your casual joy-rider, as professional thieves have populated the market, often abducting vehicles to be stripped for parts and resold on the black market.
Last month the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety published the list of the most stolen vehicles according to insurance claims; the Cadillac Escalade took the top spot. Despite the decline in thefts, it is still important to safeguard yourself, as casual hoodlums are not the primary concern, but skilled car thieves.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Consumer Reports