Yes, New Year’s Day Is Peak Time for Car Thefts – Kind Of

Yes, New Year’s Day Is Peak Time for Car Thefts – Kind Of

The holidays are generally a low-crime period, despite the fact that some of the headlines coming out throughout the holidays would suggest otherwise. According to one article, the holiday season is also “the perfect time for crimes,” with “a lot of thieves… seeking to break into automobiles, cash in on high priced stuff that you could leave lying about,” according to police. 

Is this, however, correct? Is this just another example of the well-documented criminal cognitive dissonance that plagues Americans? Unfortunately, this one is accurate — to a degree. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) releases its semi-annual Holiday Theft Report towards the end of the year, including information on car thefts over the preceding 12 months.

According to the most current study, December is one of the months when your automobile is most likely to be stolen (or, depending on who’s reading this, most likely to be stolen). Furthermore, the Bureau frequently finds that New Year’s Day is by far the most stolen holiday — January 1, 2019, saw roughly 145 more automobiles taken than any “normal” day of the year – so taking additional measures throughout the new year may be a smart idea.

It is crucial to remember, though, that this is not the entire study. The holiday season is not just a carjacking-themed variation of The Purge. While New Year’s Day has the highest number of recorded vehicle thefts, it occurs only a week after the day with the lowest number of reported car thefts: Christmas. While Thanksgiving is not technically part of the holiday season, it came in second for the lowest amount of automobiles taken (the third place went to the day after 4/20, so take that what you will).

In addition, while New Year’s Day has the biggest number of thefts, it is far from the yearly high: that honor went to July 1 in 2019, when 2,779 automobiles were reported stolen, roughly one-seventh more than the daily average for the year. The runner-up for “most automobiles stolen” day was just two weeks later, on July 15 — following a pattern witnessed year after year, according to the research. The study indicated, “Vehicle theft rates followed a similar pattern from previous years.” “The biggest number of thefts happened during the hot summer months, with the lowest number occurring during the chilly winter months.”

Therefore, the sudden increase on January 1, is probably due to that ever-present Christmas ingredient: alcohol, according to NICB’s Frank Scafidi, speaking to the Orlando Sentinel in 2013.” On New Year’s Eve, people get drunk,” he explained, “and this causes many normally average, responsible individuals to act like stupid fools and do things they wouldn’t do sober.” If he is correct, it will not be the only crime made worse by the rise in celebratory spirits – or beers, wines, and ales, for that matter. Drink driving incidents, as well as sexual assaults and domestic violence, spike around Christmas and New Year is, according to one article.