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Nearly a half million vehicle thefts have been reported to police in the first half of the year.

The U.S. continues to be plagued by near-record levels of vehicle thefts, according to a new report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The report showed nearly 500,000 vehicles were reported stolen nationwide in the first half of 2023, marking an increase of more than 2% compared to the first half of 2022.

Illinois represented the largest increase in vehicle thefts of any state at 38%, followed by New York with a 20% increase and Ohio with a 15% increase compared to the first half of 2022.

The report was released to coincide with National Crime Prevention Month, which shines a spotlight on crime prevention and personal safety every October.

"Vehicle thefts increased to near-record highs in the United States last year, and unfortunately, current trends indicate total thefts this year may surpass 2022," said NICB President and CEO David J. Glawe. "With little deterrent to stop these criminal actors, law enforcement agencies and communities will continue to suffer."

Analyzing data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), NICB's report showed between January and July 2023, vehicle thefts totaled more than 80,000 thefts per month, peaking in May with 87,993 vehicles reported stolen to law enforcement.

The top 10 states with the highest rates of vehicle theft for the first half of 2023 were:

1. California, 99,679 (-2% change compared to the first half of 2022)
2. Texas, 55,365 (9%)
3. Florida, 22,393 (-1%)
4. Washington, 21,182 (-12%)
5. Illinois, 20,820 (38%)
6. Colorado, 17,909 (-19%)
7. New York, 16,100 (20%)
8. Ohio, 15,681 (15%)
9. Georgia, 14,101 (9%)
10. Missouri, 13,374 (3%)

Law enforcement agencies may still be entering thefts for the first half of 2023, so these numbers may change.

"The good news is there are several proactive and commonsense steps consumers can take to help deter vehicle theft, including the most important, which is to never leave your keys or key fob in the car," said Glawe. "Always lock the doors and roll up your windows and never leave valuables in plain sight; instead place them in your trunk or out of sight."

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