Car theft rates going downhill for 2nd year in a row in Ohio

Cleveland has the most auto thefts of any city in Ohio.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Auto thefts decreased for the second straight year in Ohio in 2004, and the state's third largest city is among the most dramatic decreases, according to an insurance trade association.
In Cincinnati, car thefts dropped about 22.4 percent from 2003, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute. That was second only to Springfield, where auto thefts dropped 23 percent.
About 3,500 cars were stolen in Cincinnati in 2004, totaling $8.9 million in losses. Statewide auto thefts dropped 2.3 percent, to 40,039 in 2004. The statistics are based on surveys from 17 major Ohio police departments and information from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports.
Cars are more likely to be stolen in Cleveland than anywhere else in the state. One in 56 vehicles there was stolen last year, totaling $13.9 million in losses.
Car thefts in Cincinnati are down about 22 percent this year, too, said James Whalen, a Cincinnati Police commander.
"For the life of me, I don't know why" thefts are down, Whalen said. "Except that crime, in general, is down. But we're not really doing anything different."
Technology in newer cars might play a role in the decreasing thefts, said Mary Bonelli, an Ohio Insurance Institute spokeswoman.
"Newer vehicles are coming equipped with anti-theft security systems," she said.

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