Mérida, Yucatán — After several years of declines, car thefts have risen across the state.
From October 2016 to September 2017, 196 insured vehicles were stolen in the state, a 53 percent increase, reports the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions.
That’s a very low number considering there are 722,819 cars in Yucatán. But the upward trend is troubling.
“Car theft is still one of the crimes that most impact society, because in addition to damaging the assets of families and businesses, can increase other crimes that are committed with stolen cars,” the association reports.
Most vehicle owners are hit hard with the loss of their vehicles. Only 27 percent of vehicles in Yucatán are protected by insurance, according to the association, whose numbers differ from state statistics because they include only cars covered by insurance policies.
Of the thefts, two-thirds involved parked vehicles while one-third involved a violent altercation. Nationally, that statistic is practically flipped, with 60 percent of all thefts involving a confrontation.
Most of the stolen vehicles, 66 percent, were private cars; seven percent were pickups and trucks; 11 percent were motorcycles and 16 percent was heavy equipment such as trucks or tractor-trailers.
About a quarter of the vehicles were later recovered, according to the report.
At the national level, the number of stolen vehicles represented an increase of 27.5 percent compared to the same period of 2016.
“In the same period of 2016 we had a national record of 67,413 thefts in the whole country, and in this cycle another 18,530 occurred, for a total of 85,943 incidents,” states the insurance report.
“The presence of organized crime in car theft is being observed, which makes it more difficult to combat it, which is why increased user attention is needed to protect their assets,” the report states.