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ST. LOUIS, Mo – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released their 2021 “Hot Spots” report that shows Missouri having the fourth-highest auto theft rate.

The NICB reports that in 2020 many regions saw an increase in auto theft rates from 2019. In total, there were 880,595 vehicle thefts in 2020. That number is up from 794,019 thefts in 2019, this equals to about one more stolen vehicle per 36 seconds.

David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB states, “Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,”

The state of Missouri ranks fourth in total theft rate for 2020 with 453.63 thefts per 100,000 residents. The top theft rate belongs to Washington D.C. with 562.98 thefts per 100,000 residents.

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St. Joseph, Missouri ranks ninth in total theft rate for metropolitan areas in 2020 with 564.64 thefts per 100,000 residents. Bakersfield, California ranks first with 905.41 thefts per 100 residents.

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The NICB has many suggestions for people to help prevent theft. They recommend that people lock their doors and windows, take their keys, and park in a well-lit area. Vehicle owners can use audible alarms and visible tools. These include aftermarket alarms and visible column collars or locks on steering wheels on brakes.

Lastly, vehicle owners can use immobilizing devices such as smart keys, fuse cut-offs, kill switches, or disablers. Tracking devices are even a viable option for owners.

For more information visit the NICB website.