Wheel Chasers

The Impact of COVID-19 on Car Theft Rates in Florida: Trends and Prevention Measures

Car theft is a significant problem in Florida, with the state ranking among the top states for car thefts in the country. Car owners need to take precautionary measures to prevent their vehicles from being stolen.

This article will examine how car theft rates have changed over the years in Florida and the common ways thieves steal cars in the state.

Car Theft Rates in Florida

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) report indicates that Florida has consistently been in the top ten states for car thefts in the country. In 2020, Florida ranked fifth in the country, with 28,551 cars stolen.

This number is a 13.8% increase from the previous year’s total of 25,174. The increase in car thefts is alarming, and car owners need to take steps to minimize the risk of theft.

However, there is some positive news. Over the past decade, car theft rates in Florida have decreased by nearly 50%.

This reduction is primarily due to the implementation of anti-theft technology and public awareness campaigns.

In addition to anti-theft technology, you can take simple steps to deter car thieves.

Parking your car in a well-lit area and locking your doors are easy steps that can help prevent your car from being stolen. Furthermore, car alarms and steering wheel locks are affordable anti-theft devices that can also be helpful.

Common Ways Thieves Steal Cars in Florida

Car thieves use different methods to steal cars in Florida, from sophisticated techniques to simple tactics. Some of the common ways car thieves steal cars are:


Key Cloning: Thieves use a device that can read your key’s code and clone a copy of the key to steal your car. 2.

Relay Attacks: The thief uses a relay device to amplify the key’s signal from inside your home to unlock your car. 3.

Breaking Windows: Thieves break into your car by using force and then hotwire the ignition. 4.

Tow Trucks: Thieves use a tow truck to lift your car and drive away. 5.

Fraudulent Schemes: Criminals steal your identity and use fraudulent schemes to transfer the ownership of your car to themselves. 6.

Valet Theft: Thieves pretend to be valets and steal your car from the parking lot. 7.

Unlocked Car Doors: Some thieves do not use any sophisticated methods to steal cars. They walk through parking lots and pull on car door handles until they find an unlocked vehicle.

The above techniques are not exhaustive, and car owners need to remain vigilant and take necessary measures to prevent car theft.


In conclusion, car theft is a significant problem in Florida, as it is one of the top states in the country for car thefts. However, the good news is that car theft rates have decreased by nearly 50% in the past decade.

Car owners need to take steps to minimize the risk of theft, such as using anti-theft technology and practicing simple steps like locking doors. Furthermore, car owners should educate themselves about the common ways that car thieves operate and take proactive measures to avoid being a victim.

Car theft is a significant problem in Florida, with the state ranking among the top states for car thefts in the country. In addition to changes in car theft rates and common ways thieves steal cars, we will discuss cities with the highest recorded cases of stolen cars in Florida and the most common types of cars stolen in the state.

Cities with the Highest Recorded Cases of Stolen Cars in Florida

While car theft can occur in any city, some cities in Florida have higher recorded cases of stolen cars. The following cities have the highest reported cases of car thefts in Florida:


Miami Miami has the highest recorded car theft rate in Florida, with over 3,000 vehicles stolen in 2020. The city has a high population density and is known for its nightlife and fast-paced lifestyle, making it attractive to car thieves.

2. Orlando Known as the tourist capital of Florida, Orlando attracts millions of visitors every year.

Unfortunately, car theft is also prevalent in the city, with over 2,000 vehicles stolen in 2020. 3.

Tampa Tampa has a lower car theft rate than Miami and Orlando but still ranks high in the state. In 2020, over 1,300 cars were reported stolen in the city.

4. Jacksonville As one of the largest cities in Florida, Jacksonville has a high volume of vehicles on the road, which makes it a target for car thieves.

In 2020, the city recorded over 1,200 stolen vehicles. 5.

Fort Lauderdale Known for its beaches, Fort Lauderdale is another south Florida city with a high car theft rate. Over 1,100 cars were reported stolen in the city in 2020.

The Most Common Types of Cars Stolen in Florida

Car thieves can target any type of car, but some models are more popular than others. The following are the most commonly stolen cars in Florida:


Honda Civic The Honda Civic is the most stolen car in Florida, according to the NICB. The car is popular among car thieves because of its high resale value and the ease of dismantling for parts.

2. Honda Accord Another Honda model that is popular among car thieves, the Accord also has a higher resale value and is known for its reliability.

3. Ford Pickup Pickup trucks are also a popular target for car thieves in Florida, with the Ford Pickup being the most commonly stolen.

4. Toyota Camry The Camry is a popular car among Floridians and is a common target for car thieves because of its popularity and resale value.

5. Nissan Altima The Nissan Altima is another popular car model among thieves in Florida.

The car is known for its fuel efficiency and reliability, making it a popular choice for car owners.


Car theft remains a significant problem in Florida, with some cities having higher recorded cases of stolen cars than others. Car owners can take steps to reduce their risk, such as using anti-theft technology and being vigilant about parking in well-lit areas.

The most commonly stolen cars in Florida are popular models with high resale value, making them attractive to car thieves. Car owners should remain aware of the most commonly stolen cars and take steps to protect their vehicles.

Car theft is a serious crime that has wide-reaching consequences for car owners, insurance companies, and law enforcement. This article will explore why certain cars are more attractive to thieves than others and the impact of car theft on car owners, insurance companies, and law enforcement.

Why Certain Cars Are More Attractive to Thieves Than Others

Car thieves target certain types of cars more than others for several reasons. Some of the reasons are:


Resale Value Cars that hold their value well are often a target for car thieves. Thieves steal these cars and sell the parts for a profit or export them overseas.

Models such as Honda Civic and Accord are popular among car thieves because they have a high resale value. 2.

Popularity Popular car models are often targeted because they are easier to sell or dismantle parts. They also provide a bigger market for stolen car parts.

3. Security Some car models have weaker security features, making them easier for thieves to steal.

If a car is easy to steal, thieves will be more likely to target it. 4.

Availability Cars that are readily available in a particular area are more likely to be stolen. For example, higher-end luxury cars are more common in wealthy neighborhoods, making them easier to target.

The Impact of Car Theft on Car Owners, Insurance Companies, and Law Enforcement

Car theft has a significant impact on car owners, insurance companies, and law enforcement agencies. Below are some of the impacts of car theft on these groups:


Car Owners Car theft can be a traumatic experience for car owners. Having a car stolen can cause a sense of violation, as well as financial and emotional distress.

It can also affect your ability to get to work and carry out your daily routine. 2.

Insurance Companies Insurance companies have to cover the financial losses resulting from car theft, which can be expensive. The cost of replacing a stolen vehicle can be high and can impact the premiums that insurance companies charge to their customers.

3. Law Enforcement Law enforcement agencies have to spend time and resources investigating car thefts, which can take away from other important tasks.

Additionally, the recovery process of stolen vehicles can be difficult and expensive. Furthermore, car theft has other impacts on society as it encourages organized crime and can contribute to the broader issue of stolen vehicles parts trafficking.


Car theft is a common problem in Florida and has a significant impact on car owners, insurance companies, and law enforcement. Thieves target specific types of cars for various reasons, including their resale value, popularity, and security.

Car owners who have had their vehicles stolen should report it immediately to the authorities and their insurance company. Insurance companies have to cover the financial losses associated with car theft, impacting their premiums and financial stability.

Law enforcement agencies invest time, effort and resources to investigate car theft, deterring crime to make the streets safer for drivers. Car theft is a significant issue in Florida, but there are several steps car owners can take to prevent it.

This article will discuss useful prevention tips for car owners in Florida and how law enforcement agencies are working to tackle car theft.

Prevention Tips for Car Owners in Florida

Car theft can happen anywhere and anytime, and car owners need to take proactive steps to prevent it. Here are some useful prevention tips for car owners in Florida:


Keep Your Car Secure Always lock your car doors and close windows when leaving your car. Never leave your car running or your keys in the ignition, even if you’re just running into a store for a brief moment.

2. Park in Safe and Well-Lit Areas Be sure to park your car in a safe and well-lit location where other people are around.

Avoid parking in dark and isolated areas where car thieves can occur their activity unnoticed. 3.

Use Anti-Theft Devices Utilize devices like steering wheel locks, immobilizers, and alarms or invest in modern steal-proof keys to make it more difficult to steal your vehicle. 4.

Don’t Leave Valuable Items in the Car Valuable items left in sight, like smartphones, laptops, and wallets, attract car thieves. Make sure to take any valuables with you or store them in the trunk.

5. Be Careful of Who You Lend Your Car To Always be careful of who you let drive your car.

Use caution when lending your car out or leaving it with someone you don’t know well.

How Law Enforcement Agencies in Florida Are Working to Tackle Car Theft

Law enforcement agencies in Florida constantly work towards preventing car theft and catching car thieves. Here are some of the measures they look into:


Enhancing Public Awareness Law enforcement agencies work towards raising public awareness about car thefts. They provide regular education on the need for precautionary measures, like ensuring car owners use anti-theft tools.

2. High-Impact Operations Law enforcement also uses high-impact operations like sting operations.

This kind of operation allows them to locate and arrest car thieves and reduce the number of stolen cars. 3.

Surveillance Law enforcement agencies use camera surveillance solutions to monitor high-risk areas, catch stolen vehicles, and track down car thieves. 4.

Adequate Training Law enforcement provides specialized training to officers to deal with car thefts or other related offenses. It would enable them to respond quickly and appropriately to a report of a stolen vehicle.


Preventing car theft requires a collaborative effort between car owners and law enforcement agencies. Car owners need to take proactive steps like securing their cars, parking in well-lit areas, and using anti-theft devices.

Law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, work towards raising public awareness and using a range of strategies like surveillance, high-impact operations, and specialized training for their officers to combat Florida’s car theft problem. With these combined efforts, car theft can be significantly reduced in Florida.

Car theft is not only a serious offense in Florida, but it also carries significant consequences for those caught engaging in this crime. Furthermore, car theft is often linked to other criminal activities in the state.

This article will explore the consequences of getting caught stealing a car in Florida and the links between car theft and other crimes.

The Consequences of Getting Caught Stealing a Car in Florida

When caught stealing a car in Florida, individuals face severe legal consequences. These consequences can vary depending on the specific circumstances and prior criminal history.

Some of the potential consequences include:

1. Criminal Charges Car theft is a criminal offense in Florida and is usually charged as grand theft auto.

This offense can be classified as a felony, which carries more severe penalties than a misdemeanor. 2.

Imprisonment Depending on the severity of the offense and the individual’s criminal history, individuals convicted of car theft in Florida can face significant prison time. The length of imprisonment can range from a few months to several years.

3. Fines Individuals convicted of car theft may be required to pay substantial fines as part of their punishment.

These fines can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances of the theft. 4.

Restitution Courts may also order individuals to pay restitution to the vehicle owner for any damages or losses incurred as a result of the theft. This may include repairs, replacement of stolen items within the vehicle, or any other related expenses.

5. Probation In some cases, individuals may receive probation as part of their sentence, which requires them to adhere to certain conditions set by the court.

This may include regular check-ins with a probation officer, attending counseling or rehabilitation programs, and abstaining from any further criminal activity. 6.

Permanent Criminal Record A conviction for car theft results in a permanent criminal record, which can have long-term implications. It may affect future employment opportunities, housing applications, and the ability to obtain certain licenses or certifications.

The Links Between Car Theft and Other Crimes in Florida

Car theft is not an isolated crime; it often has connections to other criminal activities. Some of the links between car theft and other crimes in Florida include:


Organized Crime Car theft is often carried out by organized crime syndicates. These groups engage in various criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, identity theft, and money laundering.

Stolen vehicles can be used for these activities or dismantled for parts, which are then sold on the black market. 2.

Robbery and Burglary Car theft can be a means to facilitate other crimes, such as robberies and burglaries. Stolen vehicles provide a getaway vehicle for criminals, allowing them to quickly escape after committing a crime.

3. Drug Trade Stolen vehicles are sometimes used to transport drugs, as they provide a degree of anonymity and mobility.

Car theft can be linked to drug trafficking networks, where stolen vehicles are repurposed for this illicit activity. 4.

Gang Activity Car theft is often associated with gang activity. Gangs may steal vehicles for use in drive-by shootings, drug distribution, or as a form of intimidation within rival gang territories.

5. Insurance Fraud Car theft can also be linked to insurance fraud schemes.

Stolen vehicles may be reported as stolen to insurance companies to fraudulently claim the vehicle’s value or collect insurance payouts. These links between car theft and other crimes highlight the complexity of this issue and the need for comprehensive efforts to combat car theft in Florida.


Car theft in Florida carries severe legal consequences, including criminal charges, imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record. Additionally, car theft is often linked to other criminal activities such as organized crime, robbery, drug trade, gang activity, and insurance fraud.

Understanding the consequences of car theft and its connections to other crimes is essential for combating this pervasive issue in Florida and ensuring the safety and security of its residents. The prevention of car theft in Florida involves the utilization of various technologies aimed at deterring thieves and recovering stolen vehicles.

Additionally, it is crucial for car owners to promptly report any stolen vehicles to law enforcement authorities. This article will explore the role of technology in preventing car theft in Florida and emphasize the importance of reporting a stolen car.

The Role of Technology in Preventing Car Theft in Florida

Technological advancements have significantly contributed to the prevention of car theft in Florida. The integration of innovative security measures into vehicles and the use of tracking systems have proven to be effective deterrents against car theft.

Here are some key technologies that play a vital role in preventing car theft:

1. GPS Tracking Systems GPS tracking systems are increasingly popular in vehicles as they allow owners and law enforcement agencies to track stolen vehicles in real-time.

These systems use satellite technology to pinpoint the exact location of a stolen vehicle. The ability to track a stolen car significantly increases the chances of recovery and apprehension of the thief.

2. Immobilizers Modern vehicles are equipped with immobilizers, which prevent unauthorized individuals from starting the car without the appropriate key or fob.

Immobilizers effectively deter thieves who attempt to hotwire a vehicle. 3.

Keyless Entry Systems Keyless entry systems with advanced encryption technology provide enhanced security. These systems make it more challenging for thieves to clone or bypass the vehicle’s security features.

4. Engine Cut-Off Systems Engine cut-off systems allow car owners or law enforcement agencies to remotely shut off the engine of a stolen vehicle.

This technology can prevent thieves from driving away with the stolen car and aid in its recovery. 5.

Vehicle Alarms Although not a new technology, vehicle alarms remain an effective deterrent against car theft. Audible alarms alert bystanders of suspicious activity, potentially deterring thieves from proceeding with the theft.

6. Surveillance Cameras The use of surveillance cameras in parking lots, garages, and public spaces can help deter car theft and assist law enforcement agencies in identifying and apprehending perpetrators.

The Importance of Reporting a Stolen Car in Florida

Promptly reporting a stolen car to law enforcement is crucial for several reasons. Here’s why reporting a stolen car is highly important:


Recovery Efforts Reporting a stolen car immediately provides law enforcement agencies with essential information to launch immediate recovery efforts. The sooner the authorities are made aware of the theft, the greater the chances of locating and recovering the stolen vehicle.

2. Insurance Claims Reporting a stolen car is essential for initiating an insurance claim and receiving compensation for the stolen vehicle.

Most insurance companies require a police report to facilitate the claims process. 3.

Identification By reporting a stolen car, law enforcement can enter the vehicle’s information into a national database, making other agencies aware of the theft. This aids in identifying stolen vehicles during routine traffic stops or when they are involved in other criminal activities.

4. Prevention of Further Crimes Stolen vehicles are often used in the commission of other crimes, such as robberies or drug trafficking.

Reporting a stolen car helps law enforcement agencies connect the dots and potentially prevent these additional offenses. 5.

Statistical Data Accurate reporting of stolen vehicles provides law enforcement agencies with vital statistical data. This data helps identify trends, allocate resources effectively, and develop strategies to combat car theft more efficiently.

Car owners should maintain essential vehicle information, such as the make, model, color, license plate number, and any distinguishing features, to provide accurate details to law enforcement when reporting a stolen car.


Technology has significantly aided in the prevention of car theft in Florida. GPS tracking systems, immobilizers, keyless entry systems, and engine cut-off systems are just a few examples of the technologies that have proven effective in deterring thieves and aiding in the recovery of stolen vehicles.

However, the effectiveness of these technologies relies on the car owner’s prompt reporting of a stolen vehicle. Reporting a stolen car to law enforcement is essential for recovery efforts, insurance claims, prevention of further crimes, and the accurate collection of statistical data.

By utilizing technology and promptly reporting vehicle theft, steps can be taken to mitigate car theft rates and enhance the overall safety and security of car owners in Florida. The recovery of a stolen car in Florida involves a multi-step process that requires cooperation between car owners, law enforcement agencies, and sometimes insurance companies.

However, it is important to acknowledge that not all car theft cases are solved, and there are various reasons why some instances remain unsolved. This article will explore the process of recovering a stolen car in Florida and delve into the reasons behind unsolved car theft cases.

The Process of Recovering a Stolen Car in Florida

1. Report the Theft The first step in recovering a stolen car in Florida is to report the theft to the local law enforcement agency.

Contact the police immediately and provide them with all relevant information, such as the make, model, license plate number, and any distinguishing features of the stolen vehicle. 2.

Provide Documentation When reporting the stolen car, be prepared to provide proof of ownership, such as the vehicle registration, insurance documents, and the vehicle identification number (VIN). This documentation helps the police verify that you are the rightful owner of the stolen vehicle.

3. Follow-Up with Law Enforcement After reporting the theft, follow up with the law enforcement agency assigned to your case.

Provide any additional information and cooperate with their investigation. They may ask for photographs of the stolen vehicle, descriptions of any personal items inside the car, or any other details that could assist in recovery efforts.

4. Utilize Technology If your vehicle is equipped with GPS tracking technology, inform law enforcement of this fact.

GPS tracking systems can significantly aid in the recovery of stolen vehicles by providing real-time location information. If you have activated a GPS tracker on your vehicle, share the tracking details with the police.

5. Inform Insurance Company Contact your insurance company to report the stolen car and initiate the claims process.

Provide them with the police report and any other required documentation. They will guide you through the necessary steps to file the claim and potentially assist in recovery efforts.

6. Monitor Online Platforms Keep an eye on online platforms, such as classified ad websites and social media groups, where stolen vehicles may be listed for sale.

Inform law enforcement if you come across any suspicious advertisements or posts that might be related to your stolen car. 7.

Patience and Persistence Recovering a stolen vehicle can take time. Be patient and persistent with both law enforcement and your insurance company.

Stay in regular communication with both parties and provide any requested information promptly.

Reasons Why Some Car Theft Cases in Florida Go Unsolved

1. Lack of Evidence In some cases, there may be limited evidence to identify the thief or locate the stolen vehicle.

Without substantial evidence, the investigation may reach a standstill, making it challenging to solve the case. 2.

Professional Car Thieves Professional car thieves are skilled at covering their tracks, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace stolen vehicles back to them. These criminals may employ sophisticated techniques, such as using counterfeit vehicle identification numbers or quickly dismantling stolen cars for parts.

3. Underreporting Not all car theft cases in Florida are reported to law enforcement.

Victims may choose not to report the theft due to delayed discovery, lack of insurance coverage, fear of increased insurance premiums, or a belief that the chances of recovery are slim. Underreporting hampers law enforcement efforts and can contribute to unsolved cases.

4. Resale and Exportation Stolen vehicles are sometimes swiftly sold or exported to other states or countries.

This can make it challenging to track and recover the stolen car, especially if it has been altered or sold in an illegal, untraceable transaction. 5.

Limited Resources Law enforcement agencies have finite resources and must prioritize their efforts based on the severity of the crime, location, and available leads. Unsolved car theft cases may receive fewer resources compared to more pressing matters, such as violent crimes or drug-related offenses.


The recovery of a stolen car in Florida involves a systematic process that requires collaboration between car owners, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies. Reporting the theft promptly, utilizing technology, maintaining communication, and providing documentation are crucial steps in increasing the chances of recovering a stolen vehicle.

However, not all car theft cases are solved, as various factors such as limited evidence, professional car thieves, underreporting, resale and exportation, and limited resources can contribute to unsolved cases. By understanding the recovery process and the challenges that law enforcement faces, car owners can take proactive measures to prevent theft and increase the likelihood of recovering their vehicles.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on various aspects of society, including crime rates. Car theft is no exception, and the pandemic has had a noticeable impact on car theft rates in Florida.

This article will explore the impact of COVID-19 on car theft rates in Florida and examine the underlying factors that contribute to this trend. Impact of COVID-19 on

Car Theft Rates in Florida


Initial Decrease in Car Theft In the initial stages of the pandemic, car theft rates initially appeared to decrease. With lockdowns and restrictions in place, there were fewer opportunities for thieves to target vehicles.

Many people were staying home, leading to a decrease in overall car usage and parking in public spaces. 2.

Opportunistic Theft However, as the pandemic continued, car thieves adapted their strategies. Opportunistic thefts increased as people left their homes unattended for extended periods due to remote work or temporary relocations.

Vehicles parked in residential areas became attractive targets for thieves. 3.

Rental Car Theft As travel restrictions eased and people began to take road trips or vacations within the state, there was a rise in rental car thefts. These thefts occurred primarily in tourist areas, where rental cars were left unattended or parked in busy areas with less supervision.

4. Economic Factors The economic impact of the pandemic on individuals and communities also played a role in car theft rates.

With job losses and financial instability, some individuals may resort to criminal activities such as car theft to meet their financial needs. 5.

Delayed Reporting Another factor contributing to the impact of COVID-19 on car theft rates is delayed reporting. With the shift towards remote work and minimal travel, some car owners may not have discovered the theft of their vehicles immediately.

This delayed reporting can lead to challenges in recovering stolen cars and may impact the overall statistical data on car theft rates.

Factors Contributing to Car Theft During COVID-19

1. Increased Vehicle Vulnerability The pandemic has created an environment where vehicles are more vulnerable to theft.

With people spending more time at home, vehicles may be parked in the same location consistently, making it easier for thieves to monitor and target specific cars. 2.

Reduced Surveillance and Patrol The diversion of law enforcement resources to pandemic-related tasks and the need for social distancing measures may have led to a decrease in patrolling and surveillance in some areas. This reduced visibility and presence can provide a window of opportunity for car thieves.

3. Online Car Sales Platforms The increase in online car sales platforms also presents opportunities for car thieves.

Unscrupulous sellers may use these platforms to sell stolen vehicles, taking advantage of the limited ability to physically inspect cars during the pandemic. 4.

Vehicle and Key Storage As more people worked remotely, some may have kept their keys in their vehicles or stored them in easily accessible areas of their homes. This lax approach to key storage can be exploited by thieves who gain unauthorized access to the keys and subsequently the vehicles.

Prevention Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Enhanced Security Measures Car owners should consider installing additional security measures such as steering wheel locks, GPS tracking systems, and immobilizers to deter thieves and increase the chances of recovering stolen vehicles.

2. Regular Monitoring and Reporting Car owners should continue to monitor their vehicles regularly, even during lockdowns or periods of reduced travel.

If a theft occurs, promptly report it to the authorities to initiate investigations and increase the likelihood of recovering the stolen vehicle. 3.

Parking Consideratio

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