Statewide Auto Thefts Decline for Fourth Consecutive Year


LIVONIA – H.E.A.T. (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) today commented on the 2010 auto theft statistics released by the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) in its annual report. The statistics, again this year, showed a decrease in the number of vehicle thefts in Michigan.

“H.E.A.T. is delighted to see a statewide decline in the number of overall vehicle thefts for the fourth consecutive year,” said Terri Miller, director of H.E.A.T. “We do, however, want to make Michigan residents aware that while traditional auto theft rates are declining, auto theft-related crime is still on the rise in our communities. Thieves have simply branched out into other areas such as component theft and insurance fraud.

2011 ATPA Annual Report Highlights:
(Note: This data, which is the most recent available, is from 2010. Data for the 2011 calendar year will be available from the ATPA in February 2013).

  • Auto thefts in Michigan in 2010 declined by 9.4 percent from 2009. In 2010, 26,875 vehicles were reported stolen in Michigan, compared to 29,647 in 2009.
  • From 1986 (the year of ATPA’s inception) to 2010, Michigan auto thefts dropped by 62.7 percent, compared to a decrease in auto thefts nationally of only 39.8 percent. In 2010, Michigan was ranked as the state with the sixth highest total motor vehicle thefts in the nation.
  • In 2010, Wayne County topped the list of Michigan counties with the highest reported motor vehicle thefts at 16,444 (61.2 percent of total state thefts). Oakland and Macomb Counties accounted for 1,959 thefts (7.3 percent) and 1,956 thefts (7.3 percent), respectively.
  • The 2000 Dodge Ram pickup truck topped Michigan’s list of most stolen vehicles in 2010. Thieves’ top color preferences for vehicles to steal were once again black, followed by white and red.
  • The months with the highest auto theft figures, which remained the same in 2010, were November, December and October.
  • Though the city of Detroit once again saw an overall decrease in vehicle thefts, from 13,252 in 2009 to 12,563 in 2010 (-5.2 percent), it is still the highest ranking city in Michigan for auto thefts.

Among some of Michigan’s other large cities, the highest decreases in auto theft were seen in:

  • Harper Woods – From 348 in 2009 to 174 in 2010, a decrease of 50 percent.
  • Sterling Heights – From 190 in 2009 to 120 in 2010, a decrease of 36.8 percent.
  • Kalamazoo – From 277 in 2009 to 188 in 2010, a decrease of 32.1 percent.
  • Warren – From 1,056 in 2009 to 730 in 2010, a decrease of 30.9 percent.
  • Pontiac – From 312 in 2009 to 216 in 2010, a decrease of 30.8 percent.
  • Some Michigan areas that saw increases in auto theft in 2010 include:
  • Lansing – From 209 in 2009 to 252 in 2010, an increase of 20.6 percent.
  • Kent Co. – From 126 in 2009 to 146 in 2010, an increase of 15.9 percent.
  • Battle Creek – From 139 in 2009 to 157 in 2010, an increase of 12.9 percent.

“With the continued partnership between citizens, law enforcement, the insurance industry and agencies such as H.E.A.T. and the ATPA, we expect to see rates of auto theft continue to decline,” said Miller. “Through our 24/7 toll-free tip line (1-800-242-H.E.A.T.) and website (, tipsters can do their part to help protect their neighborhoods by anonymously reporting auto theft-related crimes, and may be eligible for rewards up to $10,000 for their information.”

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