Car thefts hit their highest peak in over a decade in 2020.
Vehicle thefts increased by 9% in 2020 from 2019, with 873,000 car thefts reported, according to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Major cities including Chicago, Washington, and New York City had the highest upticks.
NICB President and CEO David Glawe said the pandemic prompted a "perfect storm" for auto thefts.
"We have a lot of disenfranchised youth that are unemployed, and outreach programs are shut down or limited due to COVID," Glawe said, according to CNBC. "There is frustration and anger in society. We are also seeing public safety resource limitations and withdrawal of proactive policing due to budget constraints."
Vehicles are also surging in cost due to the high demand following the pandemic, which limited travel and transitioned millions into working from home. Used-car prices are already up 30% from 2020.
Vehicle thefts accelerated in June 2020 in between the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns and the second wave. In November, monthly car thefts were about 18% more than in 2019.
Chicago saw a 134% uptick in vehicle thefts in 2020, and city police said carjackings also doubled in number. New York City saw an increase of 68%, and Washington, D.C., faced 50% more car thefts last year.
In many instances of car thefts, the keys were left inside the vehicles.
Among the vehicle thefts in 2019, the NICB cited that more than 10% of the stolen vehicles had keys left inside.
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Original Author: Mica Soellner
Original Location: Car thefts climb to highest in a decade as prices surge