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New York and Las Vegas top cities for motorcycle theft
By Insure.com staff

New York was the top city for motorcycle theft in 2012, followed by Las Vegas and San Diego, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Indianapolis and Miami held the fourth and fifth-place spots, respectively.

Nationwide, 46,061 motorcycles were stolen in 2012, a 1 percent decline from 2011.

The top states for motorcycle thefts and the number of bikes stolen last year:

  • California, 6,082
  • Florida, 4,110
  • Texas, 3,400
  • North Carolina, 3,755
  • Indiana, 2,334

Most of the stolen motorcycles were swiped during the summer months. The fewest thefts were reported in February, followed by January and December.

Police recovered 39 percent of the motorcycles stolen last year, compared to 54 percent of cars stolen in 2012, the bureau said. If not quickly recovered, stolen motorcycles are often "chopped" and their parts are sold on the black market. Others are kept intact and resold to unsuspecting buyers, and still others are hidden away and occasionally recovered years later.

Recently a 1953 Triumph motorcycle, stolen 46 years ago from Omaha, Neb., was returned to its rightful owner after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found it in a shipping container at the Port of Los Angeles, the bureau reported. The bike was destined for Japan. A National Crime Information Center record identified the motorcycle as stolen, which led to the original theft report taken by Omaha police in February 1967, the bureau said.

Original owner Don Devault was 27 years old when the bike was stolen from his back yard. After recovering the bike, bureau officials returned it to Devault, now 73 and still living in Omaha.

Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill, the National Insurance Crime Bureau is a nonprofit supported by insurance companies and focused on preventing and fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft.

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