A report issued today by the California Highway Patrol indicates that, in general, vehicles were stolen 8 percent less often in 2007 than they were in the previous year - a fact that the study credited to efforts by law enforcement to keep vehicles in the hands of their rightful owners. According to the CHP, 2007 saw the theft of 227,412 vehicles, with the estimated total value of these stolen automobiles being around $1.4 billion. However, almost 83 percent of these cars were recovered.
Specifically in Santa Barbara County, vehicle theft rates fell only slightly. In 2007, thieves made off with 860 cars - 24 less than they did in 2006, making the decrease only 2.7 percent. Ten fewer stolen vehicles were recovered in 2007 than in the 777 recovered in 2006, however - a one percent drop. The decrease in recoveries also followed a statewide trend, as 2007’s recovery rate of 88.2 percent was 1.5 percent lower than 2006’s recovery rate of 89.6 percent.
Statewide, Mono County can boast a remarkable 66.7 percent drop in the vehicle thefts - the greatest of any of the 58 counties in California. Monterey County, however, suffered a 48 percent increase in vehicle thefts. On the whole, Honda and Toyota vehicles were stolen more often than any other make of car, truck or motorcycle.