Vehicle thefts decreased by more than 8 percent in 2007Combined efforts between California law enforcement agencies and the public have created a substantial decrease in the amount of vehicle thefts statewide for a second consecutive year. Last year’s 8 percent decrease follows a 5.5 percent reduction in vehicle theft in California from 2006.
“These numbers reflect the hard work of law enforcement and the public, and while they are encouraging, there’s still a lot of work to be done,” says California Highway Patrol (CHP) Commissioner Joe Farrow.
In 2007 alone, 227,412 vehicles were stolen in California. On average, a vehicle is stolen every three minutes in the state, and the estimated total value of the vehicles was $1.4 billion. Of the vehicles stolen, 88.2 percent were successfully recovered.
Of the 58 counties in California, Mono County showed the biggest reduction in the percentage of vehicles stolen at 66.7 percent. On the flip side, Monterey County had a 48 percent increase in the number of vehicles stolen last year.
Southern California is a prime area for vehicle theft. Approximately 55 percent of all thefts occurred in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties.
Commissioner Farrow stressed the importance of safe-guarding your vehicle by stating, “Don’t make it easy for thieves, lock the doors and take the keys with you.”
Additionally, Honda and Toyota continue to be most popular among car thieves. Toyota has ranked as the most frequently stolen pickup truck since 1984.
The following are additional tips to ensure your vehicle remains where you left it:
- Park in a well-lit, populated area
- Don’t warm up or leave your vehicle running unattended
- Consider a visible or audible device that alerts thieves the vehicle is protected
- Immobilizing devices prevent thieves from bypassing the ignition and hotwiring a vehicle
- Tracking devices can be very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles