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According to a new analysis by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), FBI crime figures for 2014 reveal that 699,594 vehicles were reported stolen last year—a 58% reduction—from 1991, when vehicle theft reached an all-time high of nearly 1.7 million. 

The NICB analysis compares annual statistics for thefts, population and vehicle registrations from 1960 through 2013. Over the years the single-vehicle family, which had been the norm in America, became the exception as families with multiple vehicles emerged. While in 1960 just over 74 million vehicles were registered across the nation, in 2012 registrations climbed to nearly 254 million. Registrations as a percentage of the population in 1960 stood around 41%, but in 2012 that figure nearly doubled to 80.8%

As the number of vehicles registered across America continued to climb, so did the number of the nation’s vehicle thefts. In 1960, there were approximately 328,000 vehicle thefts. In 1991—the peak year for auto thefts—this number reached 1,661,738. Theft rate was at a massive 659.01 per 100,000 people.

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