Where We Obtain Our Data

The Automobile Theft Authority (ATA) utilizes a variety of external data sources to generate and display statistics related to auto theft and auto theft recoveries. The most accurate source for auto theft data is obtained through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer system. As the name indicates, NCIC is a computerized database of documented criminal justice information available to virtually every law enforcement agency nationwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. NCIC is a computerized index of missing persons and criminal information and is designed for the rapid exchange of information between criminal justice agencies. Users access the NCIC computer located at FBI headquarters through regional or State computer systems or with direct tie-ins to the NCIC computer. NCIC is populated by criminal justice agencies entering data from their jurisdiction for purposes that include: information sharing; wanted persons; stolen vehicles, driver license and vehicle registration and other criminal justice information.

In Arizona, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) manages the Arizona Crime Information Center (ACIC) that feeds state criminal justice information into the NCIC system. DPS maintains the system and its files and is responsible for the data circuits that connect the central computer with the remote access terminals maintained by user agencies. While ACIC has been a very valuable computer system in Arizona to exchange information among criminal justice agencies, it was never designed as a searchable database that would allow investigators to compile and sort data and use it as a tool in furtherance of criminal investigations.

In 2022, the ATA, in partnership with DPS, implemented the Auto Theft Crime Tracking (ACT) database in Arizona. The ACT database is populated through a near real-time feed from ACIC. For the first time in Arizona, the ACT database allows investigators, crime analysts, and other stakeholders the ability to search, filter, sort, and map the stolen vehicle and recovered vehicle data residing in ACIC.

The ATA also uses data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). NICB compiles their data from sources such as NCIC and the organization’s internal information sources collected from member insurance companies.

The statistics and data displayed on the ATA website and publications created by the ATA are derived from the sources noted on this page. It is important to note that because the NCIC and ACIC vehicle theft files are dynamic datasets, the data fluctuate regularly as criminal justice agencies make changes to their jurisdiction’s entries. As such, the ATA expects slight changes in data - and therefore published information, statistics and graphics represent a “snapshot in time”. If the same inquiry is made of the system at a later time, we expect the results to be slightly different. This variation does not represent a mistake or deficient information, but instead, the product of a dynamic dataset.

Arizona Auto Theft Crime Tracker