Vehicle thefts declined 2 percent in 2013 but the value stolen vehicles still amounted to $1 billion, CHP reported.

2013 CA Vehicle Thefts Down 2 Percent – to $1 Billion, CHP Reports

The slight decline "is a positive sign for the state" after an 11 percent increase in vehicle thefts during 2012, according to the law enforcement agency.

According to statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), more than 171,000 vehicles were stolen statewide in 2013, which is an estimated value of $1 billion. "A combination of advances in technology, aggressive police work by all law enforcement agencies involved in joint auto theft task forces, and preventative measures by the public are making it more difficult for thieves to steal a vehicle," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.

Among the vehicles stolen last year in California, 58.9 percent were automobiles, 25.8 percent were personal trucks and vans, 4.5 percent were commercial trucks and trailers, and 4.4 percent were motorcycles. All other vehicles (recreational, construction and farm equipment, and special construction) accounted for 6.4 percent of vehicles stolen. And Southern California is a hotbed for car thieves, with nearly half of all vehicle thefts occurring in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties – with Los Angeles County accounting for nearly one-quarter of all vehicle thefts.

The most-stolen vehicle in the state is the Honda Accord, while Toyota pickup trucks since 1984 have been the most frequently stolen pickup truck.

"Vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity," said Farrow. "The last thing anyone should do is make it easier for or enable criminals. The public can take a few extra precautions with their vehicles and decrease the odds of becoming a victim."

These are simple deterrents to deter vehicle thieves:

  • Park in a secure or highly visible location.
  • Lock vehicle doors.
  • Use an alarm system.
  • Do not leave a car running unattended.

For more information about California vehicle theft trends and statistic, the 2013 California Vehicle Theft Fact Sheet can be accessed on the home page of the CHP's Web site at www.chp.ca.gov, in the Information and Resources portion, under Vehicle Theft Fact Statistics.

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