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California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

Posted October 27, 2015 3:29 PM by Jordan Perch

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has conducted a study to determine which U.S. states have the highest car theft rates, and discovered that California is the state where this crime is most common. Researchers at the NICB analyzed vehicle thefts from across the country, and while they found that overall auto thefts are dropping, they also discovered that the number of cars stolen with the keys inside is on the rise.


According to the report by NICB, a total of 126,603 vehicles were reported stolen with the keys left inside between 2012 and 2014. Researchers found that the percentage of vehicles stolen with the keys inside increased constantly during this period of time. In 2012, 5.4% of all stolen vehicles (39,345) had the keys in them, jumping to 6% (42,430) the following year, and reaching 6.7% in 2014 (44,828).


Based on these numbers, it's safe to say that anti-theft devices have helped reduce car theft, but the number of vehicles stolen would be much lower if owners wouldn't leave the keys inside their cars with no one inside.


"Stealing a vehicle is very difficult with today's anti-theft technology and leaving the keys in the vehicle is an open invitation for the opportunistic car thief," said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle.


"Am I shocked by these numbers? Not one bit," Wehrle said in a statement. "In fact, I'm sure the numbers are probably higher, because we are only able to determine the thefts where the car was recovered with the keys inside, or where someone admitted they left the keys in the car or the ignition. Many times that is not admitted in the police report or the insurance claim."


The report shows that California is the state with the most vehicles stolen with the keys inside from 2012 to 2014. During this period, a total of 19,597 were stolen in California, followed by Texas, with 8,796, Florida (7,868), Michigan (7,726), and Ohio, rounding out the top five states, with 7,452 cars stolen.


In the NICB report, seven of the top ten metropolitan areas for car theft are in California, with the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area leading the way, with 29,093 vehicles stolen, followed by Bakersfield, Stockton, Odessa, Texas, as the only city outside California in the top five, and Modesto, coming in at number five.


NICB researchers say that there are various reasons why people leave the keys in their cars, with many of them probably doing it because they want to warm their cars up before hitting the road during the cold winter months.


In order to prevent their cars from being stolen, owners are advised to install some type of anti-theft device, such as a steering-wheel lock or an ignition kill switch.

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#1

Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/27/2015 7:55 PM

"they also discovered that the number of cars stolen with the keys inside is on the rise."

Wow! And we thought criminals were stupid.

The question remains, did the criminals discover the keys before or after they hot-wired the car?

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#2
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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/27/2015 8:20 PM

My wife once left the keys in her car. Luckily, she'd locked the door. But not so luckily, she'd left the engine running. She discovered this after an hour or so of shopping at the mall.

She was a member of Mensa.

So I learned that even (otherwise) intelligent people can do stupid stuff. Once.

I don't think this applies to California. I think (too many) people there are just disconnected from reality. Which would explain Barbara Boxer.

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#3
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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/28/2015 10:50 AM

you left out a couple of people, Gov Brown, Pelosi, 90% of Hollywood.

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#4
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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/28/2015 7:35 PM

how can you make fun of a dude nicknamed moonbeam?

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#5

Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/28/2015 7:58 PM

The reason, " they want to warm up their cars before hitting the road during the cold winter months "

Doesn't exactly sound too plausible. Also the article doesn't say what type or how the vehicles are used.

In all of the California cities mentioned ( San Francisco, oakland, Hayward, Stockton ,bakersfield ) , the average winter temps are about 60* F.

Here are my ideas:

1. Farming related vehicles.

2. Construction vehicles.

3. For hire passenger conveyance vehicles.

4. Logistics conveyance vehicles.

5. Carjacked vehicles.

6. Valet parking areas.

7. Emergency vehicles.

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/28/2015 8:15 PM

you must not know too many thieves, there are basically 2 types for cars. the first have a Car the same model as they steal or an order for one. the thief either hangs at donut shops or dry cleaners or any place dumb people think they'll only be away for a minute.car washes are good places. some cars are followed, jacked and stripped for desired parts within an hour or two....they might just want the seats or hood and front fenders. the other type are just joy riders usually looking for a cool ride to impress their friends. I've known both types, the joyriders usually have strong patterns and up in jail. you'd be surprised how many cars in a parking lot have keys in the ignition....they almost beg to be taken

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/29/2015 1:17 AM

"....they almost beg to be taken..." That's how many people in the NY/NJ area used to get out from under a lease they no longer wanted, that is until the courts got really tough and called "leaving the keys in the ignition" by its rightful name, insurance fraud.

Around here the insurance companies stopped paying claims for a car that went missing unless the owner could provide both keys to the claims adjuster, and many people who took their case to court found themselves being arrested for insurance fraud, especially if the car was found with the key in the ignition. Prosecutors started using the automobile manufacturer as an expert witness to prove that it was impossible to drive the car without a properly chipped key.

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/29/2015 12:32 PM

Ok. How do I respond to this rebuttal.

1. I do not know many thieves, in fact, I don't know any thieves at all

2. I was not aware that dumb people patronize donut shops and dry cleaners and car washes.

3. Maybe an analysis with pictures should be presented here on cr4 showing those thieves, the dumb people and the numbers reflecting the percentages of vehicles stolen at the aforementioned locations, this is right up your alley, instead of posting, " What is it " , you could post, " Who is this " .

4. I don't normally peer into cars to see how many cars in parking lots have keys in the ignition, could you enlighten us how you know this to be true ?

5. Has a study been done to determine the reasons ( the top ten ) why keys are left in ignitions ?

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/29/2015 1:13 PM

"1. I do not know many thieves, in fact, I don't know any thieves at all"

You could drive to California, leave your keys in the ignition (this is important: don't lock the doors), and hide in the back seat.

Odds are you will be meeting new friends twice as fast as any other state. :-)

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#10
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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/29/2015 2:07 PM

lets just say I've known more than a few gang bangers

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#11
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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/30/2015 5:50 PM

Apparently you haven't seen "Bait Car" ? Knowing thieves is not a prerequisite to watching it.

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#12

Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

10/31/2015 11:10 PM

Q: Where are the largest number of cars?

A: California.

...well, duh!

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

11/02/2015 11:00 PM

I thought the report stated that it was a higher percentage of car thefts and not simply the absolute number of thefts.

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Re: California Leads the Nation in Number of Vehicles Stolen, NICB Report Says

11/03/2015 5:54 PM

The post "TITLE" says NUMBER, not PERCENTAGE...

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