The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

FBI Report Shows Auto Theft Decreased 7.2 Percent in 2010

September 20, 2011

WASHINGTON – The FBI issued a report that shows overall motor vehicle thefts in the U.S. dropped by 7.2 percent in 2010 when compared with 2009. The statistics used in the Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report issued by the FBI were submitted voluntarily by law enforcement agencies throughout the country, according to the agency.

The report shows motor vehicle theft statistics by city population, by county type, by year, and by region.

Ford reported on its website in a related story that 40 to 50 percent of vehicle theft is due to driver error. This includes leaving vehicle doors unlocked and leaving keys in the ignition or on the seats.

Cities by Population

  • 1,000,000 and over: -6.3%
  • 500,000 to 999,999: -6%
  • 250,000 to 499,999: -4.9%
  • 100,000 to 249,999: -9.4%
  • 50,000 to 99,999: -7.6%
  • 25,000 to 49,999: -7.5%
  • 10,000 to 24,999: -9%
  • Under 10,000: -10.8%


  • Metropolitan: -11.9%
  • Non-metropolitan: -11.4%

Percent Change by Year

  • 2007/2006: -8.1%
  • 2008/2007: -12.7%
  • 2009/2008: -17.1%
  • 2010/2009: -7.2%

By Region

  • Northeast: -4.8%
  • Midwest: -2.6%
  • South: -9.5%
  • West: -7.9%

Ford also provided a short list of basic theft-prevention tips that fleet managers could pass on to their drivers:

  • Always take your keys; never leave them in or on your vehicle
  • Always close and lock all windows and doors when you park
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Keep your vehicle in a garage, if possible
  • Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially where they can be seen
  • Never leave the area while your vehicle is running


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