Auto Theft Knows No Bounds, It Seems

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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We’ve discussed how auto theft has been on the decline for seven straight years in the United States, with a preliminary estimate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) showing a drop of 7.2 percent in 2010. That puts the current year on pace to match 1967 levels.

Despite the decline of this major crime, the biggest change in car thefts auto over the last few years is that the mix of automobile types being stolen has dramatically shifted. Thieves used to prefer cars and SUVs, and they still do, but they’re stealing less of them. Meanwhile, pickup truck and van theft has increased substantially.

Not only are more vans being stolen, but apparently, who you are can’t stop a determined thief. Even if you’re Barack Obama, the President of the United States. NBC12 of Richmond, Virginia broke the story earlier that a box truck containing the president’s teleprompter and podium had been stolen.

While it seems natural that no sensitive info would be contained in a van carrying Obama’s speaking gear, the Defense Information Systems Agency was quick to quell any concern that national secrets were compromised.

A spokeswoman for the agency said “a government vehicle was stolen and has been recovered. No classified or sensitive information was in the vehicle. We take incidents such as this very seriously, and a formal investigation is continuing in coordination with relevant law enforcement agencies.”

We can’t say for certain, but we’d guess it’d be quite discomforting to a thief, no matter how brazen or intelligence-compromised they may be, to find out that you’d taken the president’s podium.

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