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Phoenix metro area sees increase in car thefts from a year ago

PHOENIX — The number of car thefts in 2016 in the Phoenix metro area is up from the previous year, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report showed that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area ranked No. 52 in 2016 for car thefts, compared to No. 80 in 2015. That ranking was of car thefts per capita in American cities.

In 2015, there were 12,096 thefts in the Phoenix area. That increased about 10 percent, as there were 13,435 vehicle thefts in the same area in 2016.

Across the nation, car thefts increased year over year, but the NICB is still happy with how far the U.S. has come.

“Overall, vehicle theft is down, dramatically, across the nation,” the report said. “The historic peak year for vehicle theft was 1991, with 1,661,738 reported thefts. In 2015, the total was 707,758. That is a 57.4 percent reduction since 1991.

“While the final result for 2016 is expected to be higher than 2015’s number, the vehicle theft environment across the country is vastly improved from the 1990s.”

Tucson was No. 89 on the ranking for 2016. Lack Havasu City-Kingman was the next highest Arizona metro area on the list, finishing 116.

Albuquerque, New Mexico ranked No. 1 in the country in car thefts.

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