Car Thefts Drop to 20-Year Low

Whilethe number of cars on the road has doubled in the last 20 years, auto thefts have dropped significantly. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, such crimes have dropped by 50 percent over the past two decades.

The decrease in theft is due to police enforcement and vehicle tracking with disabling systems. Today, approximately 315 of every 100,000 vehicles are stolen. In 1991, that average was more than double: 659 out of 100,000 vehicles.

Law enforcement agencies have improved their performance by focusing on catching thieves involved in big theft rings. "Our idea was to take out the large trafficking organizations," said Brian Salata, head of Arizona's Automotive Theft Authority.

As for stealing new cars? "The technology in new vehicles makes it much harder," says Russ Rader, a spokesman for Highway Loss Data Institute. Ignition immobilizers are now built into 86 percent of new cars, up from only 5 percent in 1989. GPS tracking, which wasn't available to consumers 20 years ago, also aids in theft deterrence.

The likelihood of having your car has stolen gone down drastically, but insurance rates have not followed suit. The higher cost of cars and complex components unfortunately offsets the welcoming statistic.

Source: The Detroit Free Press

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