Over the past 50 years, nationwide rates of motor vehicle thefts rose slowly and steadily to a peak in 1990 and then declined to a low in 2009. Rates in Washington, D.C. were higher and more volatile, averaging three to four times the national rate for two decades. Recently, however, rates in D.C. dropped to their lowest level in 25 years. While the Sixth Police District (6D) had the highest rates and counts of motor vehicle theft over the study period, the Seventh Police District (7D) had the largest percentage increase. Hot spots in 6D were located along major thoroughfares.
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