2015 NICB Hot Spots report finds auto theft increases in some Ohio cities (corrected)

CORRECTED 9:15 a.m. COLUMBUS (June 7, 2016) –If the January-June 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Report holds true for the entire year, 2015 could bring a 1 percent increase in US auto thefts, the first increase in three years. For the same time period (Jan.-June), US auto thefts between 2013 and 2014 declined 5.7%, with a 3.2% decrease between 2013 and 2012. The FBI Uniform Crime Report showed a 1.7% increase in auto thefts between 2012 and 2011 for the same time period.

According the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) 2015 Hot Spots report, eight of the nation’s top 10 auto theft hot spots are located in California. The remaining two are in New Mexico and Colorado.

The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) notes that 11 of the 15 Ohio metro areas (MSAs) in the NICB Hot Spots report show a decline in auto thefts between 2014 and 2015, based on auto theft rates. Based on upticks in both theft rates and the number of auto thefts, four cities experienced increases in both: Dayton, Columbus, Parkersburg-Vienna and Akron (click here for Ohio’s MSA auto theft report for 2015). Two other cities, Toledo and Cincinnati, saw increases in the number of actual thefts between 2014 and 2015.

Cleveland remains the top Ohio city based on its 2015 auto theft rate and number of thefts, but showed a decline from 2014. NICB reports that Cleveland’s theft rate for 2015 is 257 vehicles stolen per 100,000 in population. Its 2014 theft rate was 280 vehicles stolen per 100,000. Cleveland had 5,300 auto thefts in 2015, compared to 5,777 in 2014. The city ranks 86th in the US, according to the NICB’s national list, dropping from its 2014 ranking of 64th.

Dayton and Columbus are second and third highest in Ohio, based on US theft rankings of 110 and 121. Both cities had increases in terms of the number of auto thefts and their theft rates between 2014 and 2015. 2015 auto thefts for Dayton, according to the NICB report, stand at 1,748 compared to 1,614 in 2014. The Hot Spots report showed Columbus thefts for 2015 at 4,230 versus 3,708 in 2014. Rounding out Ohio’s top five cities are Toledo and Springfield.

Preliminary FBI Uniform Crime Report data for six major Ohio cities for the first six months of 2015 compared to 2014 finds Akron, Columbus and Dayton with increases in auto thefts and Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo with decreases.

About the 2015 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, often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named.

The Hot Spots study is population-based, and should be viewed as an indicator of areas more prone to auto theft. NICB reports that an area with a much smaller population and a moderate number of thefts can—and often does—have a higher theft rate than an area with a much more significant vehicle theft problem and a larger population to absorb it.

According to NICB findings, eight of the 10 top US spots for auto thefts are in California, with one in both New Mexico and Colorado. The top 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for 2015 auto thefts based on theft rates per 100,000 in population (number of stolen vehicles in parenthesis) are:
2015 Ranking            MSA (2015 Thefts)                                         2014 Ranking (Thefts)

  1.                                 Modesto, CA (4,072)                                                    5 (3,047)
  2.                                 Albuquerque, NM (6,657)                                           12 (4,754)
  3.                                 Bakersfield, CA (6,000)                                               2 (5,211)
  4.                                 Salinas, C (2,934)                                                       11 (2,270)
  5.                                 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (30,554)          1 (29,093)
  6.                                 Stockton-Lodi, CA (4,656)                                           3 (4,245)
  7.                                 Pueblo, CO (983)                                                        24 (654)
  8.                                 Merced, CA (1,605)                                                    21 (1,132)
  9.                                 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (25,001)       14 (21,264)
  10.                                 Vallejo-Fairfield, CA (2,352)                                        7 (2,414)

NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 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.

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Resource links

For more information:
Dean Fadel, 614.228.1593

Frank Scafidi, 916.979.1510
Carol Kaplan202.604.5649