Just in case you might have been thinking that you have a greater chance of having your catalytic converter stolen from under your vehicle rather than your vehicle itself, this is a quick reminder that car theft is still very much a thing here in Illinois and across the nation. And, it's getting bigger each year.

As someone who once had their car stolen (it was swiped here in Rockford and then taken to Texas on a failed drug run where it was eventually found at the bottom of a lake), I can tell you that it wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to me, but the whole experience sucked, and I'd rather not go through it again.

It might have been my fault for driving a 1986 fire-engine red Pontiac Trans Am that basically begged you to break speed limits and apparently worked just fine for hauling cocaine across the country.

thief using knife and trying to steal a car.
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Across The Country, Vehicle Theft Is Up One Percent From 2022 To 2023, But That's Still Well Over 1,000,000 Cars, Trucks, Vans, And SUVs Getting Stolen Each Year Here In The U.S.

According to a new report out from the not-for-profit National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there were 1,008,756 vehicles stolen in the United States in 2022, and that number went up last year to 1,020,729.

No state even comes close to the vehicle theft capital of America, the state of California. Last year, California's vehicle owners saw 208,668 vehicles stolen. The California city with the most vehicle thefts was Bakersfield in 2021, with 1,023 vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents.

Coming in second place nationally is Texas, where 115,013 were taken, nearly 100,000 less than California.

Florida comes in 3rd, with 46,213 stolen vehicles in 2023, then it's Washington in 4th place with 43,160 vehicles stolen.

Here in Illinois, we hold the fifth-place spot for most vehicles stolen.

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Shot of a male using a tool to break into a car.
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The Stolen Vehicle Numbers For Illinois Tell An Interesting Story About Where In The State You're More Likely To Find That Your Vehicle Has Been Stolen

According to the NICB report, there were 41,528 reported vehicle thefts in the state of Illinois, but 36,272 of them were in the Chicagoland area. That means that only 5,256 of the vehicle thefts in Illinois were from "downstate" Illinois. The Chicagoland numbers are up 9 percent from the year before.

The Chicagoland area is ranked as third in the nation in total vehicle theft volume, with record-high thefts and record-low arrests.

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