Vehicle thefts in Florida fell 4.1% to 41,119 vehicles in 2018, but the crime remains a significant problem, according to law enforcement officials.
The most recent data comes from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which tracks thefts and reports its findings to the FBI.
In 2018, there were more than $600 million worth of vehicles stolen in Florida, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Over $3.5 million in value of that was recovered, according to the department.
The hardest hit counties included Hillsborough, which ranked first with 1,827 vehicles thefts in 2018, a drop from 1,997 in 2017. Pinellas County was second with 1,749 in 2018 versus 2,109 in 2017. Polk County ranked third with 990 vehicle thefts in 2018 — just a slight increase over the 988 in 2017.
As for which vehicles Florida thieves seek out, pickups appear to be a priority. In 2017, 2006 Ford F-Series pickups were the most commonly stolen vehicle statewide, according to the bureau.
Nationally, the current trend is headed in the correct direction concerning auto thefts. In the first half of 2018, the FBI reported a 33% decline in vehicle thefts across the country.