In both 2008 and 2009, New Year's Day had far more than the daily average of reported auto thefts; apparently as some are sleeping in and nursing hangovers, others are looking for easy targets.
In 2009, New Year's Day had the most thefts of any holiday, and it ranked second of any day of the year (June 1 was first). Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day have consistently had rather low rates of vehicle theft for many years.
Vehicle thefts, overall, are typically highest in June, July, and August, when many families are on vacation and drivers are more likely to leave windows rolled down and vehicles unlocked. December and February have the lowest daily chance of theft, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) data, but
California stood out from some national trends, with the most vehicle thefts of any state (and month) in January, with 16,334 reported thefts; Vermont in February was a low point, with only 18 reported vehicle thefts in the state the entire month. Over the course of the year, on a state-by-state basis, California remains highest in vehicle thefts, with Texas and Florida are lowest.
So don't start the new year without a car—or without what you might have left in it. Follow common-sense tactics like parking in a high-visibility area, keeping valuables out of sight, and using several anti-theft measures. And be sure to read through these tips on how to stay off thieves' radar completely.
Here, from the NICB, are the number of reported vehicle thefts on major holidays in 2009:
New Year's Day 2,760
Independence Day 2,207
Memorial Day 2,207
President's Day 2,204
Labor Day 2,202
New Year's Eve 2,189
Valentine's Day 2,090
Christmas Eve 1,851
Christmas Day 1,336