Close to half a million vehicles were stolen in the first half of 2022 — a 25% increase over the vehicle theft total reported for the first half of the year in 2019, according to the latest analysis from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).
What’s more, the NICB estimates thieves will confiscate 100,000 more vehicles by the end of 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic highs.
In fact, the nation is experiencing the highest vehicle theft numbers since 2008, with no hopes for a downward trend anytime soon. Some cities and states are truly plagued with the problem.
For example, Denver ranked first in the nation for cities with the largest increases in auto theft between the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2022. Denver saw a whopping 155% increase. Philadelphia ranked second with a 106% increase and Austin, Texas, came in third with a 64% rise in thefts.
But vehicles are not the only valuable property thieves are after. Catalytic converter thefts have increased a staggering 1,215% nationwide since 2019.
Finally, violent vehicle crimes are up, too. Carjackings — where a person can actually experience physical harm — have increased 160% to over 500% in some major cities since 2019.
Earlier this year, David Glawe, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and offered six policy recommendations to help address the alarming crime statistics. These included increasing community policing programs, revisiting well-intentioned criminal justice reform policies, enforcing the laws as written, focusing attention on violent offenders, collecting national and state data on carjackings, and identifying and implementing successful early intervention programs.
President Biden, by way of Executive Order, recently adopted many of NICB’s recommendations.