Tags: car | theft | auto | california

Auto Thefts Rise for First Time Since 2003 as Crooks Target California

Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013 10:21 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
U.S. auto thefts probably rose in 2012 after eight straight years of declines as criminals took advantage of California’s budget cuts and reduced police forces, an insurance-industry group said.

Thefts rose 1.3 percent last year from 715,373 in 2011, according to preliminary data released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Thefts fell about 3 percent in 2011 from a year earlier to the lowest levels since at least 1967, the NICB said, citing data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Alert: End of America's Middle Class a Startling Reality. Read More Here.
 
“There were budget crunches in a lot of areas,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the Des Plaines, Illinois-based NICB, said in a telephone interview. “There have been layoffs of police. There’s been less focus on non-violent crimes, because there’s been more focus, as there should be, on violent crimes and crimes against people.”

Modesto, California, including Stanislaus County, placed No. 1 in the ranking of auto thefts per capita in 2012. Thefts in Modesto increased by 29 percent from 2011 to about 817 cars per 100,000 people, according to the NICB. Modesto Police Sergeant Rick Armendariz estimated that staffing levels in the city have shrunk by 30 percent over the past four years.

“You can only do so much with so many people,” Armendariz said in a telephone interview. “The auto-theft countywide task force that we participate in has been devastated because our staffing levels have been cut throughout the state.”

The New York City area, including northern New Jersey and Long Island, had 26,311 thefts last year, or about 133 per 100,000 people. The Midland, Michigan, region had the fewest thefts per capita.

California Cities

Eight of the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest 2012 theft rates are in California, including No. 2 Fresno, No. 3 Bakersfield and No. 4 Stockton.

“California rates are going up because there’s no resources and no law enforcement,” John Abounader, executive director at the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, said in a phone interview. “Criminals know where the resources are and they go where they’re not.”

California has more vehicles than other states, access to ports and borders for smuggling, and mild weather that keeps cars in good shape, Scafidi said. Drug use also drives thefts, he said.

“There’s a notorious methamphetamine problem in this state,” Scafidi said. “Where you have a lot of drug problems, police will tell you, you have a lot of property crimes. It’s like peanut butter and jelly.”

Northeast, Midwest

Stockton, which filed for bankruptcy last year, is using social media to combat thefts, according to Joe Silva, public information office at the city’s police department.

Alert: End of America's Middle Class a Startling Reality. Read More Here.

“Our community has stepped up to the plate and has been submitting tips through Facebook and Twitter in regards to who is out committing these types of crimes,” Silva said.

The West, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, saw a 10.6 percent increase in vehicle thefts from 2011, the NICB said. The Midwest, Northeast and South reported reductions of 3.1, 7.9 and 2.9 percent respectively.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Treasury's Inflation Bonds Are Back in Vogue

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 10:33 AM

U.S. investors are back in the hunt for inflation protection for the first time in two years as rising housing costs - p . . .

Global Economic Picture Dims as Factory Activity in Europe, Asia Cools

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 10:28 AM

Factory activity in Europe and Asia cooled in August after a strong July, as new orders dwindled in the face of escalati . . .

Draghi Price Warning Signals Debate Ahead on QE Obstacle Course

Sunday, 31 Aug 2014 20:52 PM

Between Mario Draghi and quantitative easing lies an obstacle course.The European Central Bank president's signal that h . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved