NICB Reveals 2023 Vehicle Theft Report

Theft rates have continually risen since 2019...

A new report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows another record-breaking year for vehicle thefts in 2023. Last year, more than 1 million vehicles were reported stolen and overall vehicle thefts increased about 1% nationwide, from 1,008,756 in 2022 to 1,020,729 in 2023.

Rates have risen steadily since 2019. California accounted for the highest number of vehicle thefts nationwide in 2023 with 208,668 vehicles reported stolen. The District of Columbia had the highest rate across the nation in 2023 with 1,149.71 thefts per 100,000 people, which is over three times the national theft rate.

“Criminals are employing sophisticated methods to steal vehicles, including the use of advanced technology to bypass security systems,” said David J. Glawe, president and CEO of NICB. “From keyless entry hacks to relay attacks on key fobs, perpetrators are exploiting vulnerabilities in modern vehicle security measures with alarming success rates. It is critical that industry and law enforcement work together to develop more effective strategies for combating auto theft and safeguarding public safety.”

NICB Reveals 2023 Vehicle Theft Report | THE SHOP

NICB partners with law enforcement agencies to disrupt criminal networks and help recover stolen vehicles for member companies. It also participates in federal, state and local task forces, fusion centers, and intelligence groups to deter vehicle theft and works with lawmakers in all 50 states to boost efforts by insurers and law enforcement to fight crime trends.

Key findings from the report include Vehicle Theft Hotspots. While some regions witnessed a decline in vehicle theft rates, others experienced a notable uptick.

Urban centers and densely populated areas remained hotspots for auto theft, with metropolitan regions such as the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area reporting increased incidents compared to suburban or rural areas. The District of Columbia and Maryland each saw a drastic rise in thefts in 2023.

“Addressing the rising tide of vehicle thefts demands partnerships involving law enforcement agencies, government bodies, automotive manufacturers, and the community,” Glawe said. “The repercussions extend beyond financial losses, causing significant distress and inconvenience for affected individuals. Beyond the financial burden of replacing stolen vehicles and repairing damages, victims often endure emotional stress.”

The top ten states by volume have remained consistent in each quarter in 2023. Five of the states included in the top 10 theft states by volume also appeared in the top 10 list of states with the highest theft rates: California, Texas, Washington, Colorado, and Missouri.

NICB Reveals 2023 Vehicle Theft Report | THE SHOP

Among the top 10 Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV had the highest theft percentage increase at 52 percent. Of the top 10 CBSAs by theft volume in 2023, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO had the highest theft percentage decrease from 2022 of -22. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA had the highest number of overall thefts in 2023 with 72,460 vehicles reported as stolen to law enforcement, despite having a slight decrease in thefts (-0.5%).

The National Insurance Crime Bureau also compiled the data for theft rates from each of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. The NICB report analyzes the number of thefts per 100,000 residents, which allows it to compare different regions’ theft patterns despite population differences. The District of Columbia, Nevada, and Maryland each ranked within the top 10 theft states by theft rate as well as the top 10 states by theft percentage increase.

Read the full report from NICB here.

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