For the report, the NICB analyzed statistics from the National Crime Information Center, the FBI's electronic clearinghouse of crime data, and found that there were a total of 708,909 vehicle thefts during 2013, an average of 1,942 per day.
According to the NICB, 1,224 vehicles disappeared on Christmas Day, the lowest number of any of 11 national holidays in the study. By contrast, New Year's Day was the busiest holiday for car thieves, with 2,184 vehicles going missing on January 1.
The rest of the holidays, in descending order of reported thefts: Halloween (1,998), Memorial Day (1,972), Labor Day (1,915), Presidents' Day (1,894), Christmas Eve (1,774), Valentine's Day (1,757), Independence Day (1,750), New Year's Eve (1,715) and Thanksgiving (1,353).
California was the state with the most holiday thefts, by far (5,010), followed by Texas (1,766), Florida (1,092), Washington (845) and Georgia (658).
The NICB notes that 2013 vehicle theft rates, in general, followed a pattern similar to previous years, with the highest number occurring during the summer months, and the lowest during the winter. The most thefts on any day took place on August 12, when 2,316 vehicles were stolen. And Christmas was not only the holiday with the fewest thefts but the safest day of the entire year for car owners.
In addition to vehicle thefts, notes the NICB, burglaries of vehicles also increase during the busy holiday shopping season, with packages and other items tempting thieves to break into parked cars.
Advises the NICB: "Drivers should make sure they park in well-lit areas and keep packages in the trunk. Leave nothing visible in the interior and, as always, ensure your vehicle is locked before leaving it."
Edmunds says: It seems that car owners can relax as they open presents but need to be extra cautious while watching college football bowl games.