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Assessing Trends and Best Practices of Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Programs, Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2005
150 pages
This report presents the methodology and findings of an evaluation of trends and best practices in motor vehicle theft prevention programs, with a focus on the Watch Your Car (WYC) program, as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis of the Watch Your Car program.
The evaluations were conducted between October 2002 and March 2004. The trends and best practices evaluation consisted of a background information search, the development of survey forms, WYC member site visits and interviews, a survey of nonmember States and cities, and data entry and analysis. The WYC, sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, involves motor vehicle owners' voluntarily placing stickers in the windshield that alert police that they can stop the car for a theft check during certain hours of the night and in certain locations. The evaluation involved interviews with all participating WYC member States. States that did not belong to the WYC program were surveyed on various aspects of their vehicle theft prevention efforts. Also interviewed were motor vehicle theft prevention experts in 10 U.S. cities that had the highest motor vehicle theft prevention rates. Because the type of data required for a cost-effectiveness analysis were not being collected by WYC programs, the cost-effectiveness analysis for the WYC program relied on a mathematical model that projects cost outcomes under a set of hypothetical, but reasonable assumptions. Outcome data of the quality needed for rigorous assessment of the WYCs effectiveness were not being collected by the majority of member programs. WYC administrators generally expressed a need for technical assistance in implementing and administering the WYC program. The majority of respondents reported that the WYC program was perceived as effective by those working in their departments. 13 exhibits, 12 references, and appended cumulative activity summary and example survey questionnaires

Date Published: February 1, 2005