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Motor Vehicle Theft - Clery Crimes/Hierarchy Rules

Motor Vehicle Theft

a. Motor Vehicle Theft is the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. Motor vehicle theft are counted where automobiles are taken by person not having lawful access even though the vehicle is later abandoned which includes joyriding

There are three classes of motor vehicles:

  1. Autos -- sedans, station wagons, coupes, convertibles, sport utility vehicles, minivans, and other similar motor vehicles that serve the primary purpose of transporting people from one place to another. Autos used as taxis and station wagons licensed as trucks must be classified as autos.
  2. Trucks -- pickup trucks and cargo vans regardless of their uses. Self-propelled motor home is considered a truck.
  3. Buses and other vehicles -- motor vehicles that meet the UCR definition such as snowmobiles, motorcycles, motor scooters, trail bikes, mopeds, golf carts, all-terrain vehicles and motorized wheelchairs.                                          


  • Each stolen vehicle is counted
  • Stolen vehicles by someone without legal access of consent are counted
  • Counts included theft and attempted thefts including joy riding
  • Do NOT count thefts from motor vehicles
  • Do NOT count embezzlement of vehicles
  • Do NOT count farm equipment, bulldozers, airplanes, construction equipment or water crafts such as motorboats, sailboats, house boats, or jet skis
  • Do NOT count a taking of a vehicle for temporary use when prior authority had been granted or be assumed such as family situations, or rental car agreements
  • If vehicle is stolen in conjunction with another offense, classify the crime using the Hierarchy Rule.
  • UCR definitions and not state or local classifications.

Examples of Motor Vehicle Theft

  • Scenario 1: A faculty member’s car is reported stolen from a campus parking garage and is later recovered a block off campus. Include one on-campus Motor Vehicle Theft.
  • Scenario 2: A car stereo and CDs are reported stolen from a car parked along a city-owned street on campus. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act statistics because it is theft from a motor vehicle, not Motor Vehicle Theft.
  • Scenario 3: A student’s car is stolen from a city street outside a classroom five miles from campus. Do not include this incident in your Clery Act