September 11, 2014 by Canadian Underwriter
About one in six pickup trucks stolen in the United States the four-year period ending in 2013 were unrecovered as of five months ago, and the urban areas with the highest rates of unrecovered vehicles are near the southern border, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said in a report announced Thursday.
NICB’s report covers certain models of pickup trucks – of model years 2011, 2012 and 2013 – reported stolen between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2013.
Des Plaines, Ill.-based NICB – whose member firms wrote more than 78% of p&c insurance in the U.S. in 2013 – is a non-profit organization whose activities include data analytics, investigations and advocacy.
In its report, NICB noted that during the reporting period, 9,441 pickup trucks were reported stolen. Full-sized pickup trucks had more thefts with 8,367 thefts versus 895 for compact pickups. Mid-sized pickup trucks had the fewest thefts with 179.
The pickup truck theft report included compacts (Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma), mid-sized (Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon) and full-sized (Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram, Ford F Series, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan and Toyota Tundra).
Nearly 23% of all thefts – 2,130 – were in Texas, while California had the second-highest number, with 1,767 thefts. Nation-wide, 16% of stolen pickup trucks were unrecovered as of March 31, 2014.
The unrecovered pickup trucks “may have been targeted by sophisticated organized theft rings which dismantle stolen vehicles for parts,” substitute a new vehicle identification number (VIN) and then either sell them to unsuspecting buyers or export them.
“Together, Texas and California account for nearly 47% of all unrecovered Pickup Truck thefts nationwide,” NICB said in the report. NICB included rates of unrecovered thefts by core-based statistical area (CBSA) and found that the areas with the highest percentages unrecovered stolen pickup trucks were near the Mexican border. This proximity to the border, NICB says, “may account for the high unrecovered rates. “
CBSA is a term used by the United States Census Bureau to describe a built-up area that “includes the counties containing the core urban area, as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration (as measured by commuting to work) with the urban core.”
The CBSA with the highest rate of unrecovered thefts was El Paso, Texas, which border Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. In the El Paso CBSA, 67 of the 91 vehicles stolen were unrecovered, for a rate of 74%. The CBSAs with the second and third-highest unrecovered rates — Brownsville-Harlingen (63%) and McAllen-Edinsburg-Mission (54%) — are also on the Texas side of the Mexican border. In California, San Diego-Carlsbad (across the border from Tijuana, Mexico) had a 45% unrecovered rate while Laredo, Texas was fifth with 43%.
The CBSA with the highest number of thefts was Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., with 455 thefts. In Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington had 322 thefts and Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land had 274 thefts.
Other CBSAs that made the top 10 list include Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan. (235). The New York-Newark-Jersey City CBSA ranked 10th, with 167 thefts.