And that’s not No. 8 in a good way. The
Bremerton-Silverdale area ranks in that spot for most car thefts
among areas in the state.
But that’s much lower than the state’s No. 1 spot for car theft
— Spokane — an area ranked fourth in the nation overall for the
Here’s the release from the NW Insurance Council. Be sure to
note the tips below to help you safeguard your own vehicle.
Washington continues to be a hotbed for auto thieves with a 9.8
percent jump in auto thefts last year, according to the National
Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual Hot Spots Report released
Spokane ranked fourth-highest in the nation for auto theft
rates, up from 18th in 2009. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area
jumped to 13th from 37th and leads the state with more than 55
percent of all auto thefts, increasing 18.8 percent since 2009.
Yakima remains in the top ten, falling from sixth in 2009 to
tenth last year.
In 2010, 29,298 vehicles were reported stolen in Washington, a
9.8 percent increase from 26,684 in 2009. That’s an average
of 80 stolen vehicles per day and more than three vehicles per
Auto theft is a costly crime that vehicle owners pay for through
their insurance premiums. In 2009, auto theft cost more than
$170 million in Washington.
“Consumers in America 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. That makes stopping auto theft
important to all of us.”
Vehicle theft is the nation’s number-one property crime, costing
an estimated $5.2 billion in 2009, according to the FBI. The
average value of a motor vehicle reported stolen in 2009 was
Here are the Washington cities with the highest theft rates:
7. Mount Vernon-Anacortes
9. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland 392
10. Wenatchee-E. Wenatchee 153
*The theft rate is based on the number of thefts per 100,000
inhabitants using 2009 U.S. Census data.
Here are Washington’s most stolen vehicles, according to NICB
1. 1992 Honda Accord
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1990 Toyota Camry
4. 1995 Acura Integra
5. 1993 Subaru Legacy
6. 1994 Nissan Sentra
7. 1993 Dodge Caravan
8. 1994 Saturn SL
9. 1994 Ford Explorer
10. 1995 Nissan Pathfinder
NW Insurance Council
offers the following tips to help you reduce the risk of your
vehicle being stolen:
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 theft.
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 arrange to have
their vehicles stolen with hopes of collecting the insurance
If you know of anyone who has filed a false insurance claim, you
may be eligible for a fraud award up to $5,000 offered by NW
Insurance Council. Call the Fraud Hotline at 800-TEL-NICB.
For more information about the Hot Spots Report and
insurance fraud, call (800) 664-4942 or visit NW Insurance
NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education
organization funded by member insurance companies serving
Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
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