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California Tops Nation in Motorcycle Thefts

Be an Easy Rider-Not an Easy Target!

DES PLAINES, Ill., July 24 -- The National Insurance Crime Bureau today announced the top ten states for motorcycle thefts in 2005. They are, with theft totals in parentheses, as follows:

  1.    California (9,110)
  2.    Florida (6,324)
  3.    Texas (5,755)
  4.    North Carolina (3,053)
  5.    Ohio (2,573)
  6.    Arizona (2,464)
  7.    New York (2,195)
  8.    Indiana (2,186)
  9.    Georgia (2,159)
  10.   Pennsylvania (2,021)

  The complete list for 2005, as well as 2004, is available at

Nationally, 70,613 motorcycles were stolen in 2005 which is a slight decrease from the 71,108 stolen in 2004. This represents a loss of over $434 million to motorcycle owners and the insurance industry.

Motorcyclists oftentimes lavish great attention on their cycles, from elaborate paint schemes and chromed parts to specialized frames and high- performance engines and exhaust systems. It's not uncommon for a motorcycle's base price to exceed $20,000 with aftermarket parts adding thousands of dollars more to the original cost.

With recovery rates typically in the 25-30% range nationally, motorcycle owners need to take every precaution in protecting their investments. NICB recommends the following tips to help prevent motorcycle theft:

   -- Be wary of used cycles titled or registered as an "assembled vehicle."
      If possible, have your insurer inspect the cycle prior to purchasing
   -- Verify that a previously-driven cycle titled and registered as a
      popular brand name is not an assembled clone made from aftermarket
   -- Look closely at used cycles for a title history that reveals numerous
      manufacturers' statements of origin for major component parts
   -- Watch for cycles alleged to be "all custom." They could be assembled
      from stolen or altered aftermarket parts, especially chrome
   -- Be wary of cycles or major component parts that were allegedly
      acquired at a "swap meet."
   -- Obtain an expert appraisal and/or insurance policy pre-inspection
      before purchasing and insuring a used cycle.

Robert M. Bryant, President and Chief Executive Officer of the NICB advises, "Above all else, adequately insure all of your property, not just motorcycles and vehicles, against damage and theft. Don't wait until tragedy strikes before reviewing your insurance coverage. All too often people suffer severe economic loss which could have been prevented with sufficient coverage. Examine your policies closely and if you have questions or need clarification, contact your insurance company."

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is the nation's leading non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training and public awareness.

Anyone with information concerning vehicle theft and insurance fraud can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422) or by visiting our web site