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Amid the surge in questionable staged-accident claims and suspicious hail loss claims comes a sunny spot: a lower incidence of auto theft. In the most recent iteration of the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual report “Hot Spots,” the agency found that 2009 marked the nation’s sixth consecutive year of waning vehicle thefts.

The NICB report takes into account vehicle theft data obtained from the National Crime Information Center for each of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). Designated by the Office of Management and Budget, MSAs often include areas much larger than the cities for which they are named. For example, the Laredo, Texas MSA includes all thefts within the entire county of Webb in addition to the city of Laredo.

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