The Rise in Vehicle Theft

Here’s a number: 936,315. That’s how many vehicle thefts were reported in 2021 – a 17% increase from 2019. Unfortunately, 2022 is not looking much better. In the first three months this year, nearly a quarter million vehicle thefts were reported. 

Thefts like these disrupt owners and can lead to insurance premium hikes - making everyone a victim. 

Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

Carjacking trends are equally concerning. Unlike vehicle theft, a carjacking involves violent confrontation with an offender who threatens the victim with a weapon or through physical force. Major metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia saw increases ranging from 230% to well over 500% since 2019. 

If you find yourself a victim of carjacking, it’s important to remain calm. Hand over your keys and remove yourself from the situation. Once you are safe, call 911 to report the incident. 

Stolen Vehicle Checklist

If you are a victim of a vehicle theft, immediately report your vehicle as stolen to the police. The sooner a vehicle is reported stolen, the better the chance of recovery. Once a report is filed with law enforcement, notify your insurer of the theft. 

Catalytic Converter Theft

Thieves don’t stop there. Catalytic converter theft has also been on the rise – a 1,215% increase since 2019. What makes them so appealing are the precious metals that they contain, the values of which have skyrocketed. Driven by opportunity and negligible penalties, thieves steal catalytic converters and then sell them to recycle or scrap metal yards.

Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Tips

Each July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, hosts its annual National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is joining the NHTSA in urging consumers to help put the brakes on vehicle theft. Throughout the month, NICB will release sharable content including vehicle theft prevention tips with consumers nationwide. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for NICB’s annual Hot Wheels and Hot Spots reports, which will be released soon!

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