10 Helpful Tips To Stop Car Theft
Posted on: 11Feb,2016
One of the more common claims that many auto insurance companies typically settle is car theft. However, a large percentage of those thefts could have been prevented with a little due diligence and taking certain precautions. Granted there are certain factors that come into play where car theft statistics are concerned such as the type of vehicle that you drive and the geographic region where you live.
Recent Car Theft Statistics
In 2013, there were nearly 700,000 car thefts throughout the US. However, the year before, the slight increase that occurred signified the end of a consecutive 8-year decrease in the number of stolen vehicles. The FBI recently published a study indicating that a car gets stolen every 44 seconds here in the US. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s recent survey of American drivers, nearly 80% of them always locked their cars while over 90% of them never left a spare set of keys in them.
In addition to the above, there were several other statistics that came out of this survey that did not have a positive spin on them. For instance:
• 1/3 of the drivers surveyed confessed to leaving their vehicles while they were running thereby making them an easy theft target
• 40% leave their valuables in plain sight
• Nearly 50% occasionally parked in areas that were not well-lit
Where the second point above is concerned, it was also found that 50% of them left their mail in their vehicles, another 35% left their bank statements, and 25% of them left their purses or wallets in their vehicles. Most importantly, all of these issues can put a person at risk of identity theft.
According to the NICB, the following are the 10 most popularly stolen vehicles in the US:
• Honda Accord
• Honda Civic
• Ford pick-up
• Chevy pick-up
• Toyota Camry
• Dodge Caravan
• Dodge pick-up
• Acura Integra
• Nissan Altima
• Nissan Maxima
Additionally, 8 of the top 10 cities in the US with the highest number of auto thefts are located in California while the other 2 are located in the state of Washington.
How to Stop Car Theft before it occurs
Being vigilant about protecting your vehicle can go a long way to ensuring that you are not a victim of auto theft. The following are 10 helpful tips broken down into “Do’s and Don’ts” that could stop car thieves in their tracks and see that you are not a victim:
1) Don’t leave your important paperwork (with your name and address clearly showing) or your valuables in your vehicle
2) Don’t leave your set of spare car keys in your vehicle
3) Don’t leave your vehicle running, even if it is left in plain sight
4) Don’t leave your vehicle unlocked
5) Don’t leave your windows open
6) Do consider installing GPS or LoJack system
7) Do contact the police immediately and file a report if your vehicle is stolen
8) Do install anti-theft devices with an audible alarm and/or a vehicle immobilizer system
9) Do park in public, well-lit areas
10) Do use common sense and park in a different location if you are concerned about the safety and security of your vehicle
Interestingly enough, the most common misconception about car thefts is where they are located when they were stolen. Over 33% of all the thefts here in the US occurred near the vehicle owner’s place of residence while another 20% occurred in public parking lots. If these numbers and the statistics listed above don’t have you worried by now, they should.
What to do if You’re a Victim of Car Theft
The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends that you provide your local police department with the following information if your vehicle is stolen:
• Approximate time that the theft occurred
• Color, license number, make, model, and year of your vehicle
• Description of any individual that you might have seen hanging around or loitering near your vehicle prior to it being stolen
• Names of any witnesses who saw the theft take place
Just remember that auto theft is a lot like the old adage about taking medicine in that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By following the 10 tips above, you could avoid being a victim of car theft.