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A downtown Hannibal, Mo. parking lot. Pub. domain.

Extra precautions needed as Missouri hits top 10 in car thefts

Missouri has earned the unenviable ranking of No. 10 in the nation in vehicle thefts. More than 27,000 cards and trucks were stolen last year, according to the non-profit National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Vehicle thefts increased nationwide from 1,008,756 in 2022 to 1,020,729 in 2023. Missouri was one of 24 states to experience an increase in vehicle thefts in those year. “These surging vehicle theft rates should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and law enforcement agencies to combat this troubling trend and protect our communities,” said David J. Glawe, president and CEO of the bureau.

The bureau partners with state and federal law enforcement agencies to disrupt criminal networks and help recover stolen vehicles for member companies. It also participates in federal, state and local task forces, fusion centers and intelligence groups to deter vehicle theft and works strategically with lawmakers and regulators in all 50 states to boost efforts by insurers and law enforcement to fight crime trends such as rising vehicle thefts.

“Addressing the rising tide of vehicle thefts demands collaborative partnerships involving law enforcement agencies, government bodies, automotive manufacturers and the community at large,” Glawe said. “The repercussions of vehicle theft extend beyond financial losses, causing significant distress and inconvenience for affected individuals. Beyond the financial burden of replacing stolen vehicles and repairing damages, victims often endure emotional stress and disruption to their daily routines.”

The bureau recommends the following tips to help prevent vehicle thefts:

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
  • Hide valuables out of sight, such as in the glovebox or trunk.
  • Do not leave your keys in your vehicle.
  • Do not leave the area while your vehicle is running.
  • If your vehicle is stolen, call law enforcement and your insurer immediately, because reporting a vehicle as soon as possible after it is stolen increases the chance of recovery.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call the bureau at (800) TEL-NICB.

–Dwight Widaman




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