Across the Southeast’s major metropolitan areas auto theft deceased dramatically in 2004, accompanied by a slight drop in auto theft nationally, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s annual Hot Spots Report for 2004. These statistics should reflect positively on personal and fleet insurance rates.
The rate matters in such a ranking because the FBI estimates there was a 2.6 percent drop in auto thefts in 2004, compared to the previous year, after four years of increases.
Miami, which announced this week it had eliminated its Police Department’s Auto Fraud Unit, dropped from No. 8 to No. 13 on the list. Data released for other Florida metros was also positive: Orlando, from No. 63 to No. 70; Jacksonville, from No. 81 to No. 80; and Tampa/St. Petersburg, from No. 53 to No. 62.
The statistics increased, however, in some of Florida’s smaller cities: Ft. Myers, from No. 131 to No. 75; Punta Gorda, from No. 216 to No. 194; and Sarasota/Bradenton, from No. 160 to No. 146.
Other Southeast states include:
Alabama: Birmingham, No. 59 from No. 54; Mobile, No. 90 from No. 102; and Montgomery, No. 115 from 75.
Georgia: Atlanta, No. 26 from No. 28.
Kentucky: Lexington, No. 164 from 175; and Louisville, No. 95 from No. 101.
Mississippi: Jackson, No. 35 from No. 17.
North Carolina: Charlotte, No. 41 from No. 45; and Raleigh/Durham, No. 132 from 121.
South Carolina: Charleston, No. 103 from No. 74; and Greenville, No. 100 from No. 122.
Tennessee: Chattanooga, No. 109 from No. 111; Nashville, No. 125 from No. 108; and Memphis, No. 38 from No. 32.
West Virginia: Charleston, No. 140 from No. 145; Parkersburg, No. 325 from 322; and Wheeling, No. 304 from No. 298.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau each year gathers auto theft data on 336 metropolitan areas from the National Crime Information Center. The rate is determined by the number of vehicle theft offenses per 100,000 inhabitants using Census 2000 population figures.
“The small reduction in auto thefts is good news for our member companies and the general public,” Robert M. Bryant , NICB president and CEO said. “NICB has attacked this problem through expanded efforts with our member companies and law enforcement and by embarking on an aggressive public awareness campaign to educate and inform consumers of the many ways in which they can help prevent auto theft.”
Statistics on cities not listed here are available at www.nicb.org.