- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 27, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Data shows a decline in car thefts in 2015 in two District-area jurisdictions where the rate has traditionally been highest.

The latest AAA statistics reveal that car thievery dropped by more than 11 percent in the District last year compared with 2014, and by almost 32 percent in Prince George’s County.

The Highway Loss Data Institute says car thefts have declined nationwide by 70 percent since 1998.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader says new technology, such as built-in ignition immobilizers, has made a big difference in reducing car theft.

Despite the drop, figures show car thefts rose in some Washington-area suburbs last year compared to 2014. Police say Arlington County saw an 11 percent increase, while Fairfax and Montgomery counties experienced a 3.3 and 5 percent hike, respectively.

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