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Motor Vehicle Recovery: A Multilevel Event History Analysis of NIBRS Data

Motor Vehicle Recovery: A Multilevel Event History Analysis of NIBRS Data


Despite its importance for victims, and society as a whole, motor vehicle theft (MVT) recovery is rarely studied. The current research note draws on rational choice and opportunity-based perspectives, and police agency technology use, to develop and test a multilevel event history (survival) analysis model for MVT recovery. Contrary to the hypothesis that more expensive vehicles have a lower chance of recovery due to their attractiveness for permanent retention, the analysis found that recovery was least likely for incidents in which the stolen car had little value (less than $1,000), with no significant differences among the categories of $1,000 or greater. Measures of local opportunity for permanent retention MVT did not have statistically significant effects on recovery, but closer proximity to a major port or US-Mexico border crossing was associated with lower odds of recovery. Furthermore, police agency use of a stolen vehicle tracking system increased odds of recovery.
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