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Kenton Brine, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director     
NW Insurance Council    
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975

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Auto theft increases statewide; 27 percent higher in Pocatello, 19 percent in Boise
  • Number of vehicles stolen in Idaho up 16 percent statewide
  • Owners of vehicles stolen are on the hook without Comprehensive Insurance Coverage
  • Drivers are recommended to follow the “four layers of protection” to guard against vehicle theft

BOISE, June 13, 2017 – Auto theft jumped 27 percent in Pocatello last year, climbed 19 percent in Coeur d’Alene and increased 19 percent in Boise, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s recent annual Hot Spots Report.  Auto thefts in Idaho Falls dropped 2 percent.

Overall, vehicles stolen in Idaho rose 16 percent in 2016. Preliminary data from the FBI’s Uniform Crimes Report show that auto thefts were up across the country by 6.6 percent in 2016. The NICB compares auto thefts per 100,000 inhabitants to develop an even comparison in metropolitan areas across the country. Auto theft increased in most Idaho metropolitan areas last year, which means an increase in both the number of vehicles stolen and auto theft rate per 100,000 residents.

The statewide increase in auto thefts is a strong reminder to consider optional Comprehensive or Other than Collision Coverage. This type of policy pays - up to the limits of the policy (typically after a deductible has been paid by the policyholder) - for vehicle damage not caused by a collision with another vehicle or by depreciation and normal wear and tear, including damage from fire, hail, windstorm, auto glass breakage and even if the vehicle hits a deer. Importantly, comprehensive insurance is the only policy that will pay to help pay for a stolen car.

“Vehicle theft is a $5 billion-per year crime in the US,” said Kenton Brine, NW Insurance Council president. “Guarding against vehicle theft and making sure you are protected against the loss of your own vehicle are two ways for consumers to help reduce risks and manage insurance costs.”

Vehicle theft is the nation’s number-one property crime, costing an estimated $4.9 billion in 2015, according to the FBI.  In 2016, 1,629 vehicles were reported stolen in Idaho. That’s more than 4 vehicles stolen per day and nearly two vehicles stolen each hour.

Brine recommended drivers employ the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “Four Layers of Protection” to guard against auto theft. “The more layers a driver can employ, the less chance his or her vehicle will be targeted by car thieves,” Brine said. The protections include common sense measures like locking your car, adding warning devices like light and sound auto alarm systems, adding an immobilizing device such as a fuse cut-off or kill switch, or using an onboard tracking device.

Here are the top six Idaho cities with the highest theft rates and how they compare to one year ago (percentages rounded):  :

  1. Pocatello: 158 Thefts, 187.13 Theft Rate, 26% Theft Rate Change
  2. Lewiston: 116 Thefts, 187.02 Theft Rate, 2% Theft Rate Change
  3. Boise City : 932 Thefts, 186.86 Theft Rate, 62% Theft Rate Change
  4. Ceour d'Alene : 221 Thefts, 143.22 Theft Rate, 16% Theft Rate Change
  5. Idaho Falls : 144 Thefts, 111.221 Theft Rate, 5% Theft Rate Change
  6. Logan: 57 Thefts, 44.55 Theft Rate, 35% Theft Rate Change

*The theft rate is based on the number of thefts per 100,000 inhabitants using U.S. Census data.

How to Help Stop Auto Theft & Insurance Fraud
In some cases, auto theft is a form of insurance fraud when vehicle owners arrange to have their vehicles stolen with hopes of collecting the insurance money. If you witness or have knowledge of an auto theft, you can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422) or by texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411).  

For more information about the Hot Spots Report and insurance fraud, visit National Insurance Crime Bureau and NW Insurance Council.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness.