Karl Newman, President
Darrin Sanger, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (206) 624-3330/ (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter.com/karljnewman
Follow at Twitter.com/darrinsanger
10 Most Stolen Vehicles
Spokane, Eugene rank in nation's Top 50 for auto theft; more than
37,400 vehicles stolen across Northwest
SEATTLE - The Northwest continues to be a hotbed for auto thieves
as several cities rank high in the nation despite an overall 14.9-percent
drop in theft rates last year.
Oregon saw the largest dip as car thefts dropped 14 percent from
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's annual Hot
Spots Report, Yakima, WA, topped all Northwest cities with
the sixth-highest auto theft rate in the nation. Spokane, WA,
ranked 18th, followed by the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area at 37th.
Eugene, OR, ranked 46th, the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro
area ranked 77th and Salem, OR, ranked 84th.
Last year, 37,427 vehicles were reported stolen across all three
states, an average of 103 vehicles per day and more than four
vehicles an hour.
While the decrease in thefts is encouraging for drivers, auto
theft is still a costly crime vehicle owners pay for through their
Vehicle theft is the nation's number-one property crime, costing
an estimated $6.4 billion in 2008, according to the FBI. The average
value of a motor vehicle reported stolen in 2008 was $6,751.
"Consumers literally pay billions each year for auto theft,"
said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. "The cost to
replace stolen vehicles and repair those that are recovered is
reflected in your insurance rates."
Washington ranked highest among the Northwest states with 26,684
stolen vehicles, a 15.8 percent drop from 31,681 in 2008.
In Oregon, 9,727 vehicles were stolen last year, an 14-percent
drop from 2008 figures when thieves stole 11,325 vehicles.
Idaho reported 1,016 stolen vehicles in 2009, a 1.2-percent increase
from 1,004 stolen vehicles in 2008.
Is your car next? NW Insurance
Council and NICB offer the
following tips to help you reduce the risk of your vehicle from
- Keep your doors locked and windows completely rolled up.
- Remove keys from the ignition, even when briefly stepping
away from your car.
- Keep valuable items such as bags, purses, cell phones and
briefcases out of sight.
- Always park your vehicle in well-lit areas.
- Always activate your vehicle's security or alarm system when
- Before buying a new vehicle, check with your insurance company
to find out which vehicles have the highest risk of being stolen.
If you witness or have knowledge of an auto theft, contact your
local law enforcement agency. In some cases, auto theft is a form
of insurance fraud when automobile owners
stage phony accidents or arrange to have their vehicles stolen
with hopes of collecting the insurance money.
If you know of anyone who has filed a false insurance claim,
you may be eligible for up to $5,000 in reward money offered by
NW Insurance Council. Call the Fraud Hotline at 800-TEL-NICB.
For more information about NICB's Hot
Spots Report and insurance fraud, visit NW
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon