Car Thieves are Getting Smarter - How to Outsmart Them
Janet and Jack Smith are regulars at their neighborhood farmer’s market. The market is in a nice, suburban area, one that the Smith’s frequent to do their shopping. It was just another typical sunny Saturday afternoon at the farmer’s market when Janet and Jack head back to their car in a nearby parking lot to find their window has been broken and valuable items stolen from the car.
It sounds like a scenario we don’t want to find out for ourselves, but it’s a reality for thousands of us. According to the FBI, there were 724,872 vehicle thefts in 2019 and 810,400 stolen vehicles in 2020. That amounts to $7.4 billion lost to motor vehicle theft! Law enforcement agencies are also seeing a rising trend in catalytic converter (part of a car’s exhaust system) thefts due to the value of the precious metals contained within the converters.
And car thieves are getting more sophisticated, by using smart keys, switching vehicle identification numbers, and using stolen identities to apply for vehicle loans.
July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month, which makes it a great time to review a few ways you can protect your car and its contents, both inside and outside.
When parking your car
- Park in well-lit areas
- Before exiting your car, ensure you close all your windows, lock your doors, and take your keys (many modern cars will alert you if the key fob is left inside)
- Take all valuable items with you; if you have to leave them inside your car, make sure they’re kept out of view
Protecting your car from theft
- Use steering wheel locks or other audible or visual deterrents such as decals, horn alarms, and flashing lights
- Install computer chips in ignition keys or use other immobilizing devices that prevent thieves from starting your car
- Take advantage of tracking technology that sends your vehicle’s location to local law enforcement agencies
If you notice your car has been broken into or stolen, be sure to contact the police right away to file a report, which you may need to provide your insurance company. To learn more about ways you can protect your car with auto insurance and added coverage protections, contact your local Rockingham Insurance agent today.