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Why Have Criminals Stopped Stealing Motorcycles?

With the economy in the tank, gasoline prices as dear as an old family photo, and new car prices heading to the stratosphere, you’d think a spike in the number of motorcycles and scooters being stolen would be a natural outcome, but no.

In what must be welcome, if unexpected , news for insurance companies, the NICB  (National Insurance Crime Bureau) says motorcycle thefts in 2010 have decreased some 24% from 2007 until today.

According to the NCIB figures from 2007, 65,678 motorcycles were stolen, but that number dropped to 49,791 for 2010. When compared to 2009 there was a decrease (11% for 56,093 stolen bikes).

According to the study, a portion of that decline in thefts is attributed to an overall decline in motorcycles sales. In 2009, 520,502 motorcycles were sold, while in 2010 only 439,678 rolled out of showrooms.

When are thieves the busiest. As you might expect, the top months for motorcycle thieves are June, July and August, and the top 3 states for the number of motorcycles stolen are California, Texas and Florida.

If you don’t want your bike stolen, you can always move to Wyoming or North or South Dakota.

The top brands that were stolen:

(1) Honda, 12,260

(2) Yamaha, 9,853

(3) Suzuki, 7,869

(4) Kawasaki, 5,470

(5) Harley-Davidson, 3,301.

Recovering Stolen Motorcycles

Should you suffer the worst and have your bike stolen, there is hope. According to the NCIB study, some 34% of stolen motorcycles got recovered within a year and a half. The statistics record recovery for a period of 18 months after a bike was stolen, so while you might have to wait awhile to see your machine again, you stand a one in three chance of riding it again.

On one hand it’s good that less motorcycles are stolen. Ultimately you should see less insurance premiums. New technology makes stealing bikes more difficult. Or at least starting them after they have been nicked. On the other hand, it’s not really the new technologies, or better police work, but a decline in sales, and therefore less interest in bikes by thieves.

What would be interesting to see is the age of stolen motorcycles. Just the brand doesn’t mean much. Are they stealing brand new motorcycles, or ones that can be more easily stolen?

Click here to read the full NC IB Report

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