The insurance group said thefts peaked in May, when about 88,000 were reported.  -  IMAGE: Pexels/Abdulvahap Demir

The insurance group said thefts peaked in May, when about 88,000 were reported.

IMAGE: Pexels/Abdulvahap Demir

Vehicle theft in the U.S. rose in the first half of the year, according to statistics compiled by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The insurance industry nonprofit group focused on preventing insurance crime said nearly half a million vehicles were reported stolen in the first six months of this year, up 2% year-over-year. It said the numbers may change, as some law enforcement agencies were still reporting thefts for the period.

Thefts in Illinois led state increases with a 38% bump, followed by New York, with a 20% increase and Ohio’s 15% increase, NICB said. California had by far the most reported thefts, at nearly 100,000, though its number fell 2%.

The group released the statistics to help draw attention to October as National Crime Prevention Month. It said theft nearly reached record highs in the first six months and that the annual total could eclipse 2022 theft numbers.

“With little deterrent to stop these criminal actors, law enforcement agencies and communities will continue to suffer,” said group President and CEO David Glawe, who urged drivers to avoid leaving car keys or valuables inside a vehicle and to always lock up.

The report said thefts peaked in May, when about 88,000 were reported.

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