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Vehicles are one of the most popular targets for criminals because they are relatively easy to steal. Don’t be the next victim of vehicle theft.

Car theft rates spiked in 2020, according to data released by the FBI. Research indicates 810,400 vehicles were stolen in 2020, compared with 721,885 vehicles stolen in 2019. That means car thefts have increased by 11.8% from 2019 to 2020, with an eye-popping 88,515 more motor vehicles stolen in 2020.

The methods thieves use to steal vehicles become more sophisticated as technology advances. Some thieves may acquire smart keys or change a vehicle’s VIN number to complete the theft. Vehicle owner negligence may result in theft as well. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found that between 2016 and 2018, nearly 230,000 vehicles were stolen because the vehicle’s fob had been left inside the car.

Consider the following tips to reduce the risk of getting your vehicle stolen:

  • Never leave your vehicle unattended while it’s running.
  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle or ignition, even inside a locked garage.
  • Always roll up your windows and lock the vehicle, even if it is in front of your home.
  • Always park in a high-traffic, well-lit area, if possible.
  • Consider anti-theft devices—such as steering wheel locks or fuel cut-off switches.
  • If you park in a fee garage, take the pay ticket with you.
  • Have your vehicle identification number (VIN) etched into each piece of glass on the vehicle as a deterrent.
  • Consider purchasing a vehicle alarm system if you live in a high-theft area or drive a theft-prone vehicle. Display an alarm decal near the door handle.
  • If you use valet parking, leave just the ignition key with the attendant.
  • Copy your license plate and VIN numbers on a card and keep them on you with your driver’s license. If your vehicle is stolen, police will need this information promptly.

The Value of Vehicle Security Devices

Installing a mechanical device that locks to your steering wheel, column or brake pedal to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees can act as a highly visible physical deterrent for potential thieves if installed properly.

If you are considering implementing such a device—or any vehicle security device—on your vehicle, be sure to purchase the product from a quality brand or company and consult a trusted auto mechanic for proper installation.

For additional vehicle security guidance and auto insurance solutions, contact INSURICA today.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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