A new report shows that car theft is on the rise in Springfield, with the metro area leaping all the way to #10 in the nation for auto theft rate in 2017.
According to a report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Springfield’s theft rate of 581 vehicle thefts per 100,000 population moves the community into the national top 10 for the first time. Springfield’s rate is the 2nd-highest of any Missouri metro area, topped only by St. Joseph, which is at #5 in the nation.
While the raw number of 2017 vehicle thefts in Springfield – 2,686 – is much lower than Kansas City’s state-leading 9,712 thefts, it’s 544 more than in 2016 and 908 more than in 2015.
Nationally, car thefts are down steeply from their peak in the 1990s. 2016 thefts were less than half the total from 1991. But the last three years have seen an increase of around 100,000 thefts across the U.S.
The Los Angeles metro area led the country in thefts, with 60,444. Albuquerque, NM led the nation in vehicle theft rate, with a rate of 1,097 thefts per 100,000 residents.
State Farm recommends the following tips to help prevent car theft:
- Roll up your windows all the way. If a locksmith only needs a sliver of open window to open your door, so does a thief.
- Don’t keep a spare key in or on the car – the bad guys know all the hiding places.
- Don’t be the “low-hanging fruit” – if a thief sees an alarm has been installed or the VIN is etched into a window or door, they know the car will be harder to steal and more of a hassle to sell.
- Consider a vehicle recovery system. If your car is stolen, it can be tracked and recovered using GPS or similar technology.
“Some vehicles are bigger targets than others,” says State Farm spokesperson Kevin Gamble. “The NICB publishes a list of the most-stolen car models, so when buying a new vehicle, you can easily check to see which cars are the hottest targets for thieves.”