Holiday Vehicle Theft Report

Photo of policy officer writing on a notepad
Image courtesy of [Zoran Milich] / Getty Images.

Do car thieves take the day off on national holidays? The answer is no according to the latest Holiday Vehicle Theft report issued by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. On some holidays, car thieves are extra busy.

The NCIC

The Holiday Vehicle Theft Report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The NCIC is operated by the FBI. It is an electronic clearinghouse of crime data provided by law enforcement agencies across the U.S. The Center stores the data and makes it available to police departments.

For example, a police officer might log into the NCIC's database to determine whether a particular vehicle has been reported stolen. The NCIC also maintains data on other types of stolen property such as guns and boats.

The NCIC's data indicate that 695,246 vehicles were stolen in 2014. This amounts to a daily average of 1,905 vehicles.

Vehicle thefts normally fluctuate from month to month. More autos are stolen during the spring and summer months than in the fall and winter. This makes sense since vehicles are easier to steal when they aren't buried in snow. Also, winter driving conditions can make it difficult for thieves to transport stolen autos.

Holiday Thefts

The number of auto thefts that occurred on each of the eleven holidays included in the report are listed in the table below. Note that the list of holidays includes both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The holidays are listed in descending order based on the number of thefts.

Holiday# Autos Stolen
Labor Day2200
New Year's Day2011
Halloween2010
Memorial Day1933
Independence Day1877
New Year's Eve1858
Christmas Eve1750
Valentine's Day1750
Presidents' Day1695
Thanksgiving1384
Christmas Day1225
Total19,693

Thieves' Favorite Holidays

In 2014 thieves' favorite holiday was Labor Day.

The second favorite was New Year's Day. Apparently, some thieves aren't deterred by cold weather. Why were Labor Day and New Year's Day the top holidays for auto thefts? Nobody (but the thieves) seems to know.

Thieves' least favorite holidays for stealing vehicles were Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and Presidents' Day. These holidays fall during the winter months when vehicles thefts normally drop.

Top Holiday Theft States

In 2014, the five states that had the most holiday vehicle thefts were California, Texas, Washington, Florida, and Georgia.  The table below shows how many vehicles were stolen in each state on each of the eleven holidays.

HolidayCATXFLWAGATotal
Labor Day4232151299485946
New Year's Day4361721078482881
Halloween4381811239763902
Memorial Day4571911119084933
Independence Day4281841247067873
New Year's Eve5001871026457910
Christmas Eve4471481146974852
Valentine's Day415205927862852
Presidents' Day4381871099260886
Thanksgiving362120987441695
Christmas Day35696644532593
Total4700188611738577079323

As you can see, Labor Day was the winner in all states except California. The holiday with the least number of thefts was Christmas Day in all five states.

Protect Your Vehicles

You can protect your company's vehicles year-round by practicing good risk management.

Lock the doors. Don't leave the vehicle running with the keys inside. Consider using an anti-theft device such as a wheel lock. Finally, protect your investment by purchasing physical damage coverage under your commercial auto policy.