Trick-or-thief: Halloween is No. 1 holiday for car theft

John Egan

Here’s a spooky statistic: More cars were stolen on Halloween than any of 11 holidays reviewed in 2011, according to a new report from the nonprofit National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Last year, 2,328 cars were reported stolen on Halloween, the bureau says. In second place was New Year’s Day, with 2,286 cars reported stolen. The bureau came up with the holiday rankings by analyzing data from the National Crime Information Center.

The holidays ranked by number of thefts reported in 2011 were:

  1. Halloween (2,328).
  2. New Year’s Day (2,286).
  3. Memorial Day (2,005).
  4. Labor Day (1,977).
  5. New Year’s Eve (1,947).
  6. Valentine’s Day (1,895).
  7. Independence Day (1,862).
  8. Presidents Day (1,830).
  9. Christmas Eve (1,797).
  10. Thanksgiving (1,526).
  11. Christmas Day (1,347).

For those 11 holidays in 2011, a total of 20,800 cars were reported stolen, compared with 22,991 on the same days in 2010.

The crime bureau warns that car thieves never take a holiday.

“Although the nation has enjoyed declining vehicle thefts for eight consecutive years, the risk from vehicle theft is still very real,” the crime bureau says. “There is always a black market for items obtained by theft, and vehicles remain popular theft targets.”

In 2011, a total of 749,914 cars were reported stolen, averaging 2,055 thefts per day. According to the bureau, the biggest days for car theft last year were:

  1. Aug. 1 – 2,687.
  2. July 1 – 2,623.
  3. July 11 – 2,497.

To prevent car-related crime, the bureau recommends:

  • Parking your car in a well-lit area.
  • Making sure your doors are locked while the car is parked.
  • Keeping packages in your trunk or out of sight.

Keep in mind that your car isn’t covered for theft unless your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, which is optional but which auto lenders and leasing companies typically require.

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