When it comes to crime, what get the most attention are violent crimes – these include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. However, property crimes are actually more prevalent in the United States. The FBI gave an estimate of $14.3 billion loss to property crimes in 2015. Considered property crimes are larceny-theft, burglary, arson, and motor vehicle theft. Among these, motor vehicle theft is considered to be the most expensive, costing about $7000 per crime in 2015.
The FBI defines motor vehicle as a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surfaces and not on rails. Sports utility vehicles, trucks, automobiles, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles are all considered motor vehicles. As for motor vehicle theft, the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting defines it as the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
In 2016, there were about 765,484 motor vehicle thefts nationwide, with a rate of 236.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. Below are the top ten states with the most number of motor vehicle thefts in 2016, according to FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports:
- California – 176,576
- Texas – 69,056
- Florida – 43,135
- Washington – 32,286
- Georgia – 26,801
- Michigan – 20,176
- Illinois – 19,910
- Ohio – 19,667
- Colorado – 19,611
- Arizona – 18,421
- In case of damages resulting from a break-in, your comprehensive insurance can cover repair costs for broken door locks, broken ignition system, and smashed windows.
- If your car was stolen, coverage depends on the type of car insurance you have. If you have comprehensive insurance, the value of your vehicle will be covered.
- Personal items stolen from your vehicle will not be covered by your car insurance – comprehensive or otherwise. Car insurance only covers the features and components of your car that are permanent and pre-installed.
How to prevent motor vehicle theft
- Avoid leaving your vehicle in a parking lot for a long time. If possible, park in well-lit areas with pedestrian traffic.
- Do not leave your vehicle running unattended.
- When leaving your car, make sure you lock all doors, windows, and the trunk. Do these even when you’re leaving the car for just a moment.
- Do not leave your keys with car park employees or in car wash services.
- Do not put your name and address on your keys. Instead, mark them with your business name and driver’s license number.
- Remove your registration documents from your car. This is to make it difficult for the thieves to sell it at the black market.
- At home, do not leave your keys lying around on tables, desks, or key hooks.
What to do in case of a car theft
- Report the theft as soon as possible. In most cases, stolen vehicles are used for criminal activities.
- Make sure you have the following information about your car handy: year, make/model, license plate, color, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), radio number and GPS number. Remember your car’s distinguishing features such as scratches and dents.
- In case the criminal makes an attempt at blackmail or “business offers” for you to regain your vehicle, do not accept. Call the police right away.
Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
None of the content on Hoganinjury.com is legal advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified lawyer. Please consult a legal professional for further information.