Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Come to Las Vegas, loose your money and your car

NATIONAL STATISTICS: Clark County No. 2 in car theft
Number of stolen vehicles in 2005 jumped 13 percent

Clark County had the second-highest rate of auto theft in the nation in 2005, moving up one place from its 2004 ranking, a national insurance organization said Monday.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau elevated Clark County's ranking among Metropolitan Statistical Areas, noting that the county had 22,465 auto thefts last year, a 13 percent increase over the 19,794 reported the year before.

There were 1,360 cars stolen for every 100,000 county residents last year. For the prior year, the rate was 1,266 auto thefts per 100,000 residents, the bureau reported.

Although the rate of auto theft was down throughout much of the nation, Nevada and Western states in general bucked that trend, said Frank Scafidi, director of public affairs for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

"Auto theft is down nationally. It's down everywhere but the West," Scafidi said…

During peak theft times, two vehicles are stolen per hour in Las Vegas, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Robert Duvall said.

"Las Vegas is a very attractive market for car thieves," Duvall said.

Although Clark County's growth in recent years is a factor in the car thefts, Duvall said, it is primarily the Las Vegas Valley's "target-rich environment" -- the high number of parking garages and parking lots -- that makes Southern Nevada a hot spot for car thieves…


Scafidi said there are several theories on why vehicle theft rates are so high in the West, including the fact that the region has more cars. He also said some car thieves steal vehicles in California and Arizona and take them south of the border...[Ed. – Hey, it’s just undocumented immigrants doing a job Americans won’t do]

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