Car Thefts Down Says the FBI; But So Are Recovery Rates

Car Thefts Down Says the FBI; But So Are Recovery Rates

Either stealing a car has become a lot more difficult or the thieves just threw in the towel and decided to try their hand at another career. One thing’s for sure – car thefts were down in 2009.

According to the FBI’s 2009 crime statistics released this week, vehicle thefts dropped 17 percent from 2008. The numbers fell 35.7 percent when compared to 2005 data.

But this doesn’t mean you can stop locking your car when you leave it. There were still 600,000 vehicles stolen last year. High on the “to steal” list is the 1994 Honda Accord for some strange reason (better gas millage perhaps – even thieves are thrifty these days).

But with good news comes some bad news. News from LoJack states that the national recovery rate for stolen cars is at its lowest point in 25 years. This means that 43.2 percent of vehicles stolen in 2009 were never recovered.

According to LoJack, these vehicles are typically stolen by professional thieves. They find their way to chop shops to be stripped down to their components. By stripping the cars down, thieves can make two to four times the vehicle’s actual worth.

Transported across the U.S. boarder, thousands of stolen vehicles are used to commit other crimes or resold as used vehicles, most often to unsuspecting customers. Damn those Canadians and their love of ’94 Accords!

[Source: Edmunds]