US and Ohio 2009 auto thefts continue decline

FOR RELEASE: May 17, 2010
REVISED 2pm May 17, 2010

COLUMBUS–The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports a decline in US auto thefts in 2009 for the sixth consecutive year.

Based on its annual auto theft report, Hot Spots, 304 of the top 366 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas) in the US showed a decline in auto thefts between 2008-09, representing 83 percent of the US MSAs.

According to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII), 15 of the 16 Ohio MSAs in the report show a decline in auto thefts for the same period. (Click here for Ohio MSA auto theft rate report). 10 of the 16 MSAs had declines in auto theft rates.

Cleveland tops Ohio MSAs based on its auto theft rate of just over 313 vehicles stolen per 100,000 in population, ranking 72nd on the national list of 366 MSAs. Even so, Cleveland dropped 10 spots in the one-year period after ranking 62 in 2008. Cleveland also reports a 21 percent decline in actual thefts between 2008-09.

Columbus ranks 93rd nationally with the second highest auto theft rate in the state, followed by Toledo at 99th on the US list, Youngstown-Warren-Boardman at 136th and Dayton rounding out Ohio’s top five with a national ranking of 144th. All five cities also experienced a decline in the number of thefts between 2008-09.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports finds auto thefts falling by 18.7 percent during the first six months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, which indicates that the country is on-track for a substantial decline in auto thefts for the entire year.

About the Hot Spots study
The NICB report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for all US MSAs.  MSAs, designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named.

The Hot Spot study is population-based, and should be viewed as an indicator of areas more prone to auto theft. The study is available online at

According to the NICB, the top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for 2009 auto thefts based on theft rates per 100,000 in population are:

2009 Ranking 2008 Ranking
1. Laredo, TX 2
2. Modesto, CA 1
3. Bakersfield, CA 5
4. Stockton, CA 6
5. Fresno, CA 10
6. Yakima, WA 3
7. San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont, CA 9
8. Visalia/Porterville, CA 11
9. Las Vegas/Paradise, NV 7
10. Albuquerque, NM 8

NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by nearly 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations.

The OII is a trade association representing insurance companies and agent groups for the property/casualty insurance industry. Its primary objective is to help Ohioans achieve a better understanding of insurance and safety issues.

– 30 –

• NICB Hot Spots study
• Ohio info
• OII info 2008
• NICB inf0 2008
• FBI Uniform Crime Reports