Piza,Feng, Kennedy & Caplan (2016)indicate that in the year 2009, the FBI reported that the number ofmotor vehicle thefts was 794,619, which represented a loss of about5.2 billion dollars of the value of those vehicles. About 56.8% ofthe cars were recovered but the authorities cleared only about 12.4%.The automotive theft remains to be a national concern in the UnitedStates. The number of car thefts decreased by 17.1% from the previousyear probably due to the adjustments in the reporting procedures,changes in the categorization of crime at the ground levels or feweragencies presenting their reports for overall processing. There arenational and international dealers located in the port cities whoexport the stolen vehicles to the developing nations where they canfetch more revenue than in the United States’ market. There areseveral common thefts of the spare car parts such as the airbagswhile the theft of the heavy trucks and trailers has increased (Block& Fujita, 2013).The national insurance crime bureau has been developing somestrategies that would assist to tackle the general vehicle theftissue.
Itis estimated that about 30% of the auto theft cases result from thetendency of the drivers to leave their keys in the cars (Piza,Feng, Kennedy & Caplan, 2016).Many of the individuals with complete car cover pay for auto theftthough more costs are incurred through the payment of taxes that helpto fight crime. The most common types of car thefts include temporarytheft where the vehicles are stolen and then abandoned after use forinstance after committing theft (Suresh& Tewksbury, 2013).Joyriding is a common car theft done by the teenagers where they takea car and drive it around for fun after which they abandon it (Block& Fujita, 2013).Sometimes joyriding may include the stripping of the spare parts.Professional theft involves the car dealers who buy stolen vehicles,disassemble them and make huge profits from the sale of the spareparts. Another type of car theft is fraud which means the pretense ofthe owner or another person on their behalf to have lost a vehicle sothat they can benefit from an insurance company (Piza,Feng, Kennedy & Caplan, 2016).
Theprofessional thieves use a variety of techniques to acquire and sellthe spare parts and make profits such as the chop shops that are usedto disassemble the stolen cars (Suresh& Tewksbury, 2013).The professional thieves use a technique called the quick strip wherea vehicle’s valuables such as seats, phones, and tires are rippedoff which makes it easy to sell the parts and dispose of them withoutidentification (Piza,Feng, Kennedy & Caplan, 2016).The car thieves also use the salvage switch technique where they buya wrecked car, steal a similar model and rip it off its spare partsthat are used to repair the wrecked car (Block& Fujita, 2013).The repaired vehicle is resold in the market at a profit. Othercommon techniques involve exporting the stolen cars or cloning themby counterfeiting the vehicle labels to make them look legitimate.
Thefraudulent theft schemes occur in three ways, for instance, the falsecar scheme which happens to those insurance companies withineffective pre-insurance vehicle verification programs (Piza,Feng, Kennedy & Caplan, 2016).The thief buys a policy with a theft cover for a non-existent car andafterward claims compensation after theft claims. Another form offraudulent theft schemes is the false robbery plots conducted by acar owner to avoid liability for some action or reduce financial lossfor instance after a hit and run incidence. The inflated theftschemes involve the owner of the stolen vehicle exaggerating the realvalue of the car claiming the loss of expensive parts or cargo in thevehicle (Block& Fujita, 2013).
Theproblem of motor vehicle theft is vast and diverse in the UnitedStates. Most of the thieves conduct these crimes to gain profitswhile others commit the crimes to extort funds from the insurancecompanies (Suresh& Tewksbury, 2013).It is important to implement policies that ensure the serialnumbering of the vehicle parts as well as the installation ofefficient vehicle tracking devices so that the stolen cars can betraced efficiently (Block& Fujita, 2013).
Block,S., & Fujita, S. (2013). Patterns of near repeat temporary andpermanent motor vehicle thefts. CrimePrevention & Community Safety,15(2),151-167.
Piza,E., Feng, S., Kennedy, L., & Caplan, J. (2016). Place-basedcorrelates of Motor Vehicle Theft and Recovery: Measuring spatialinfluence across neighbourhood context. Urban Studies,0042098016664299.
Suresh,G., & Tewksbury, R. (2013). Locations of motor vehicle theft andrecovery. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(2),200-215.