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July 30, 2014

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Car thefts drop, but Las Vegas still in the top 10

Annual report ranks Las Vegas metro area as No. 9 for stolen autos

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Las Vegas has seen a decline in car thefts over the past year, but it remains on a list of top cities for stolen autos.

The Las Vegas metropolitan area ranked No. 9 on the 2009 list of places with the highest vehicle theft rates, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “Hot Spots” report released Monday.

In 2008, Las Vegas was No. 7. The city ranked No. 2 in 2007 and was at the top of the list in 2006.

The latest report was compiled using 2009 data from the National Crime Information Center.

Las Vegas had 10,706 car thefts in 2009, a rate of 562.63 cars stolen for every 100,000 residents, the report says. The city had 13,662 thefts in 2008 and 19,031 in 2007.

Laredo, Texas, took the top spot on this year’s list, with 742.22 cars stolen per 100,000 residents. It was followed by four California cities: Modesto, Bakersfield, Stockton and Fresno.

This was the sixth straight year the bureau reported a nationwide drop in the number of vehicle thefts. Of 336 metro areas, 304 of them — 83 percent — reported fewer car thefts in 2009 than in 2008.

“This is great news on the vehicle theft front,” said Joe Wehrle, the bureau’s president and chief executive officer.

“Six straight years of vehicle theft reductions are the result of a lot of hard work on the part of law enforcement, prosecutors, legislators, NICB member companies, NICB personnel and insurance industry trade groups who have contributed expertise and energy to have an impact on this crime,” Wehrle said.

A preliminary review of FBI data indicates vehicle thefts may have fallen by as much as 18 percent, the insurance bureau said.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is a nonprofit organization supported by insurance companies to fight insurance crimes and vehicle thefts. It also releases an annual list of “Hot Wheels” in the fall, identifying the cars most often stolen.

In 2008, Nevada’s most stolen vehicles were the 1992 Honda Accord, 1995 Honda Civic, 1990 Toyota Camry, 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup and 1994 Nissan Sentra.

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