Car thefts in the United States have seen a significant increase, with nearly three-quarters of a million automobiles stolen in 2022, representing a 20 percent surge from pre-pandemic numbers. This rise in thefts is partially attributed to the viral TikTok Kia and Hyundai thefts, referred to as performance crime by law enforcement agencies. The trend of car thefts shows no signs of reversing in 2023, with a 33.5 percent increase in the first half of the year compared to the previous year.
While overall crime rates, including homicides, burglaries, gun assaults, and burglaries, have been decreasing, motor vehicle thefts are sharply rising. Factors contributing to this trend include increasing car prices, supply chain delays leading to higher costs of replacement parts, inflation, and wage stagnation, which have pushed some individuals to desperation.
Certain cities have experienced a more severe increase in car thefts. For example, City A has witnessed a doubling of car thefts year over year, with 1,753 cars stolen in the first half of 2022 compared to 3,480 cars in 2023. City B has also seen a rise of around 15 percent in the same period. Additionally, City C reported seven out of every 1,000 registered cars being stolen in 2022.
According to data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Dodge Charger Hellcat has the highest likelihood of being stolen compared to any other car in the country. The Infiniti Q50s, Dodge Challengers, Land Rover Range Rovers, and Kia Sportage also rank high on the list. Surprisingly, Teslas, including the Model 3 and Model Y, have very low theft claim numbers.