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Vehicle thefts down statewide in 2008 compared with 2007

July 21, 2009 |  2:58 pm

Vehicle thefts in California were down in 2008 over the previous year, the California Highway Patrol announced today.

Data collected from 58 counties across California showed an overall 12% drop in vehicle thefts in 2008 compared with 2007.

Of the 199,766 vehicle thefts in 2008, 57% were automobiles, 30% were trucks and vans and 4% were motorcycles. The other 9% were made up of RVs, commercial vehicles and farm equipment.

At least 86%, or 173,328, of the vehicles stolen were recovered. More than half of those recovered were found to be operational or intact, CHP officials said. The percentage represented a slight drop in recovery compared with 2007, when 88% of all stolen vehicles were found, they said.

"Even with the decrease in vehicle theft, the economic loss to Californians continues to exceed $1 billion," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow in a statement.

Topping the list of most stolen automobile in 2008 was the 1991 Honda Accord, while the 1988 Toyota Pickup truck was listed as the most stolen truck. Among motorcycles, it was the 2007 Suzuki.

Authorities believe better alarm systems are helping to reduce vehicle thefts.

-- Ruben Vives