According to NICB auto thefts in the US have increased in 2012 for the first time in eight consecutive years, as thieves took advantage of the budget cuts and reduced police forces.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau said that auto thefts increased 1.3% in 2012 from 715,373 in 2011, when thefts dropped 3% compared with 2010. In 2011 auto thefts reached the lowest level since 1967.
“There were budget crunches in a lot of areas,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the Des Plaines, Illinois-based NICB, said in a telephone interview. “There have been layoffs of police. There’s been less focus on non-violent crimes, because there’s been more focus, as there should be, on violent crimes and crimes against people.”
The first place in auto thefts last year was taken by Modesto, California with an increase of 29% from the previous year to almost 817 cars per 100,000 people. Modesto Police Sergeant Rick Armendariz said that over the past 4 years the number of police officers in the city has been reduced by 30%. New York City area had 26,311 thefts, or 133 cars per 100,000 people, while Midland, Michigan has the fewest auto thefts.