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Albuquerque Ranks 13th in National Survey on Auto Theft Rates—Study Shows Border Cities Are Prime Hot-Spots for Car Thieves.
April 10, 2001 – When it comes to crime, car thieves consider Albuquerque a "hotspot." That's according to a study of 450 metropolitan areas released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The survey ranks Albuquerque 13 th in the country for vehicle theft rates in 2000. The latest crime figures are actually down from 1999, when according to the NICB study, Albuquerque had the 6 th highest auto vehicle theft rate and in 1998 when it was ranked 2nd.
The NICB's study analyzes vehicle theft rates of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in 2000 using vehicle theft data collected from the FBI. The vehicle theft rate is the number of stolen vehicles divided by the population, then divided again by 100,000.
Of the top ten metro areas in the nation for vehicle theft, the NICB found that seven are ports or communities with easy access to the Mexican or Canadian borders.
The MSAs with the ten highest vehicle theft rates are:
- Phoenix, AZ
- Miami, FL
- Detroit, MI
- Jersey City (Hudson County, NJ)
- Tacoma, WA
- Las Vegas, NV
- Fresno, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Jackon, MS
- Flint, MI
"Even though overall vehicle theft rates have declined in recent years, thanks to the effective efforts of law enforcement and the increasing use of deterrent devices, vehicle theft remains the number one property crime in the country, costing more than $7 billion dollars each year," said Robert M. Bryant, NICB president and CEO. Approximately 1.1 million vehicles are stolen nationwide each year, and more than 30 percent are never recovered.
Bryant said port and border communities, more than two-thirds of the top 25 vehicle theft areas, continue to be boom areas for the vehicle theft business.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association offers these tips for helping to prevent your car from being stolen:
Auto experts recommend a "layered" approach to protecting yourself and your car from thieves. What approach you take may depend on your circumstances (how nice of a car you drive, where you live, etc.) and your pocketbook.
Use good judgment. Park your car in well-lit areas, remove the keys, and always lock the doors.
Use highly visible and noisy warning systems. Using anti-thief devices, such as steering wheel locks, ignition collars, sirens and flashing lights may stop a casual thief or slow down a more experienced one by calling attention to them.
Use immobilizing devices and tracking systems. These devices include ignition cutoffs and starter and fuel system disablers. Motorists or commercial fleets may even consider more expensive and sophisticated electronic tracking devices.
If I take anti-theft measures, can I get a discount on my car insurance?
Yes. These will vary by company and state. Generally, insurers favor passive devices, such as ignition cutoffs, some types of alarms, and electronic auto recovery systems which are automatically activated when the car is locked and don't depend on the driver to remember to turn them on. Some companies offer up to a 30% discount for these more sophisticated devices.
Twelve states (Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington) require insurers to give car owners discounts on their comprehensive insurance for anti-theft devices.
Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.