A car is stolen at least once a month in the United States, according to a new study.
The study, released Thursday by the Institute for Justice, found that 4.2 million vehicles were reported stolen in 2016.
A vehicle can be stolen for many reasons, from having an expired registration to being stolen as part of a gang or carjacking.
But the institute said in its report that in 2016, there were at least 673,000 reported stolen vehicles, which was a 25 percent increase from 2015.
The institute said the figure doesn’t include vehicles towed from the scene or the cost of repairing damaged vehicles.
The report says about 60 percent of the vehicles reported stolen are registered to people not known to the police.
It also says that between 3,000 and 7,000 vehicles were recovered from burglaries.
The data comes from a federal survey of state and local law enforcement agencies.
The federal study, which also included data from local police departments, found a 6.4 percent increase in reported car thefts from 2016 to 2017.
The Institute for Defense Information and Analysis, a nonprofit group that researches and disseminates information on gun violence, said the data could be misleading because many people don’t report their vehicle being stolen, leaving the department to guess.
The new study is the latest to suggest that the number of vehicle thefts could be rising, with the number reported every year likely understate the true numbers.
In a statement, the institute cited data from a 2017 report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which found that there were more than 1.4 million stolen vehicles in the U.S. That data, which is collected by state police agencies and shared by the Federal Highway Administration, found 6,854 vehicles reported lost or stolen in the last year, a figure that was significantly higher than the previous year’s estimate of 1,065,000.
The latest data comes amid a spike in car thefts.
In April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its annual report, finding that nearly 7.7 million vehicles have been reported stolen since 2011, with nearly 90 percent of these reported thefts happening in states that have lax vehicle registration requirements and limited vehicle coverage.