President’s Message - Working to Combat Auto Theft in Albuquerque

The NICB works with our members and law enforcement every day to help combat crime and reduce insurance fraud. Our data publications, such as the Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report, help to identify national trends and solutions relative to specific crime issues.

The Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report examines vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) for each of the nation’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). These MSAs, and the populations they each encompass, are designated by the—federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named.

For the third year in a row, the Albuquerque, N.M. metropolitan statistical area (MSA) continues to have the nation’s highest per capita rate of vehicle theft, recording 7,146 thefts in 2018. While this number may seem high, it is important to note that this figure is down more than 28 percent from 2016.

See NICB's 2018 Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

This major decrease is in large part due to newly implemented statewide programs focused solely on auto theft. The Auto Theft Prevention Authority was created to help develop a clear partnership among local and state law enforcement agencies and to focus on getting cases through the judicial system. That authority was created by the legislature and began operating in early 2018 under the state Superintendent of Insurance. This is a clear example that, if given the resources and proper tools, we will start to see the necessary improvements in the numbers.

It's not just in New Mexico where we are seeing the number of auto thefts decline. According to preliminary January – June 2018 FBI data, there was a 3 percent decline across the country when compared to the same six-month period in 2017. We are proud of the strong partnerships with our members, vehicle manufacturers, law enforcement, and legislatures that continue to support and create programs that are having a real impact on vehicle theft.

Joe Wehrle

President & CEO

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit