Statewide Auto Thefts Decline for Fifth Consecutive Year


car thief (select to view enlarged photo)

H.E.A.T. Warns Drivers as Related Crimes Continue to Rise

LIVONIA, MI--Feb. 20, 2013: H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) today commented on the 2011 auto theft statistics released by the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) in its annual report. Although the statistics continue to show a decrease in the number of vehicle thefts, Michigan is once again ranked as the state with the sixth highest total motor vehicle thefts in the nation.

"We're always pleased to see the number of statewide vehicle thefts decline," said Terri Miller, Executive Director of H.E.A.T. "However, that doesn't mean thieves aren't trying new ways to target drivers, their belongings and personal information. Thefts may be down, but fraud, carjackings and other auto theft-related crimes continue to rise in Michigan communities."

Those auto theft-related crimes include online/Craigslist fraud with the sales of vehicles and parts; catalytic converter and tire and rim thefts; and re-tagging/cloning vehicles (swapping or duplicating VIN numbers).

2012 ATPA Annual Report Highlights:
(Note: This data, which is the most recent available, is from 2011. Data for the 2012 calendar year will be available from the ATPA in February 2014).

  • Auto thefts in Michigan declined 6.5 percent from 2010. In 2011, 25,048 vehicles were reported stolen in Michigan, compared to 26,875 in 2010.
  • From 1986 to 2011, Michigan auto thefts dropped by 65.2 percent, compared to a decrease in auto thefts nationally of 41.6 percent.
  • In 2011, Wayne County topped the list of Michigan counties with the highest reported motor vehicle thefts at 14,880 (59 percent of total state thefts). Oakland and Macomb Counties accounted for 1,943 thefts (8 percent) and 2,201 thefts (9 percent), respectively.
  • The 2000 Dodge Caravan topped Michigan's list of most stolen vehicles in 2011. Thieves' top color preferences for vehicles to steal were once again black, followed by white and red.
  • The months with the highest auto theft figures were July, August and June.
  • Though the city of Detroit again saw an overall decrease in vehicle thefts, from 12,563 in 2010 to 11,238 in 2011 (-10.5 percent), it remains the highest ranking city in Michigan for auto thefts.
  • As Wayne County thefts decreased, Macomb County auto thefts increased by more than 12 percent and Oakland County thefts increased by over 25 percent from 2010 to 2011. Outside of southeast Michigan, Genesee County thefts also increased by nearly 13 percent while Kent County thefts went down by nearly 15 percent.

"With continued partnerships between citizens, the insurance industry, law enforcement, prosecutors and community organizations l, H.E.A.T. is able to help auto theft crimes decline," said Miller. "Tipsters can do their part and get paid up to $10,000 by reporting what they know to our 24/7 toll-free tip line (1-800-242-HEAT) and online (www.1800242HEAT.com)."

H.E.A.T. paid out more than $220,000 in rewards in 2011 and 2012.

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