Did you know that July was National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month? When it comes to vehicle thefts in the United States, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that this crime has declined for the past two years. As reflected in the most recent available data, there were 794,019 thefts in the United States last year. In comparison, there were 819,988 in 2018 and 833,740 in 2017. The bad news is that vehicles are still being stolen. Furthermore, the data also shows that 11 states experienced increases in vehicle theft rates last year. With National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month now in our rear view mirror, let us discuss some simple things you can do to lessen the risk of your car being stolen.
While we should all remain vigilant about protecting our motor vehicles, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) listed the following as “hot spots” for vehicle thefts in 2019. Rankings were based on the number of vehicle thefts per 100,000 people, or theft rate.
- Bakersfield, California
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- St. Joseph, Missouri
- Modesto, California
- Odessa, Texas
- Topeka, Kansas
- Yuba City, California
- Merced, California
- Yakima, Washington
- Springfield, Missouri
Just because you may not have a vehicle or live in a community listed here does not mean you are immune from car theft. For the most part, criminals can be opportunists. They will take what they want when they are confident they can get away with it. This means you can take steps to help prevent your vehicle from being a target.
Make sure you take care to avoid leaving your vehicle vulnerable to theft. Lock it and never leave the keys or key fob inside. Also, avoid leaving valuables in plain view and check that all windows are shut. You may even want to consider installing a tracking system as well as an audible alarm system and anti-theft device, if your vehicle is not already equipped with these things. With advances in technology, you may also want to have a mechanic or technician install an immobilizing device that will disable the car if it is stolen.
If your vehicle is stolen, report the matter to police immediately, and report the matter to your insurance company within 24 hours. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal options, please do not hesitate to call our office to schedule an appointment.