While revelers are recovering from late-night celebrations, thieves ring in the new year by getting to work.
New Year's Day was once again the leading holiday for reported vehicle thefts in 2009, according to an analysis released Dec. 28 by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Christmas Day was the holiday with the fewest reported vehicle thefts.
For the 11 holidays reviewed in 2009, a total of 22,991 vehicles were reported stolen. That's less than the the 24,676 reported stolen for those same days in 2008, yet it's still a reminder that car owners shouldn't let their guards down. The bureau recommends parking in well-lit areas, keeping packages in the trunk or out of sight, and making sure parked vehicles are locked.
Comprehensive car insurance, which, unlike liability coverage, is optional, covers losses from vehicle theft.
Overall vehicle thefts have been falling for six straight years, with preliminary 2010 FBI theft data pointing to a further decrease for a seventh year. Still, the black market for stolen cars continues.
Holidays ranked by number of thefts reported to the National Crime Information Center in 2009 were:
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
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., is a not-for-profit organization supported by property and casualty insurance companies focused on preventing, detecting and beating insurance fraud.