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From 2021 to 2022, the number of vehicle robberies and thefts increased across the country, according to data provided by the 2023 Brazilian Public Security Yearbook. It was the result of a reversion of trend, which left many states with high rates of this crime. Despite the overall bad results, the scenario is not completely negative. Authorities from São Paulo have had successes in fighting this type of crime. This success case, according to researchers, may serve as reference to effective policies to be employed – maybe even on how to deal with other illegal markets. At the same time, new technologies arriving at the automotive industry can create new challenges for the protection of assets.

Reversion of Trend

During the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions to the circulation of assets, people and vehicles provoked a steep reduction in the number of several crimes, like robberies. However, with the lifting of the isolation measures, the reduction trend seen in some crimes reversed. This was the case for vehicle robberies and thefts.

In 2022, 373,225 vehicle robberies and thefts were reported in the country, an average of 1,000 per day. When the social isolation measures were in place, they had a sharp reduction, but grew by 8% in the last year.

Most incidents are thefts (60.3%), thus, actions with no violence involved, which represents a good factor. On the other hand, the fact stresses the need to hire insurance and properly protect vehicles when parked, including the belongings they carry, as they are generally not recovered to the contrary of the robbed ones (i.e., with violence).

The Most Stolen Vehicles

A survey by the National Confederation of Insurance Companies (CNseg) showed the ranking of the 10 most stolen cars in Brazil between January and July 2023.

The best-selling cars are among the most stolen. First, because it is more likely for them to be targeted. Second, because there is a higher demand for car parts from these models.

The cheapest vehicles are also quite targeted since they are easy to resell and there are many available.

SUVs have become attractive, due to their resistance and desirability. Many are used in crimes, because of the space they offer and the turbo engine that many have.Pickups big and small are sought after for their capacity for transporting things. Many thieves and robbers resell them to criminals that carry out cargo robberies.

1. Volkswagen Gol6. Fiat Siena
2. Ford Ka7. Chevrolet Corsa
3. Fiat Uno8. Fiat Strada
4. Hyundai HB209. Fiat Palio
5. Chevrolet Onix10. Toyota Hilux

The Highest Rates

Some states present higher rates of vehicle robbery and theft. The leading state in this ranking is Rio de Janeiro, with 562 cases per 100,000 vehicles in 2022. Pernambuco, in the Northeast region, comes in second, with 534 cases per 100,000 vehicles. This region is also home of the third and fourth places, Piauí, which concentrates a rate of 492 incidents, and Rio Grande do Norte, with 421. Finally, the fifth position belongs to São Paulo, with a rate of 414 incidents.

São Paulo, a Successful Strategy

Despite consecutive increases recorded in 2021 and 2022, São Paulo has significantly reduced the numbers of vehicle robberies and thefts for almost a decade.

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