South Floridians love their tricked-out, high-end rides, including those sport utility vehicles that are always hogging two spaces in the Publix parking lot. But more than anything, it looks like South Floridians like stealing SUVs, according to a new analysis released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The new numbers show that the incidents of SUV theft are rising across the Sunshine State.
As we've reported before, there's an active underworld of car thieves and hock shops and Craigslist hustlers down here, many hailing from elsewhere but coming to Florida because down here it's open season on stolen rides.
The NICB report shows this is a national problem. The organization crunched the numbers, finding that between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, 21,711 SUVs were reported stolen. The most stolen car? The Ford Escape, followed by the Fort Edge, the Ford Explorer, and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
In a state-by-state breakdown, Florida slots in second regarding the number of flinched cars. California tops the list, with 3,531 stolen cars. The Sunshine State is number two, with 1,897 stolen cars in the time period analyzed.
Not surprisingly (because every scumbag car dealer from anywhere else drips down here), the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area is the nexus for this behavior. When you break down the number of stolen cars in each region, the NYC-New Jersey area tops the list, with 2,530 cars. South Florida slots in fourth with 1,005, coming behind the Detroit and L.A. areas.
But in terms of SUVs that are unrecovered, we're back near the top. South Florida logged 189 reported SUVs stolen but never recovered, second to the NYC-NJ region.
NICB did a similar report between 2008 and 2012. Since that analysis, Florida's overall number of stolen SUVs has grown -- so much so that the state jumped from havin the third-most-stolen vehicles to the second.
So, uh, lock up.
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