On a January morning this year a car was stolen from a Princeton driveway while it was left idling. Also in January, an idling car was stolen with a 5 year old inside from a parking lot in Trenton (the 5 year old is safe). Similar incidents occurred throughout the state. Many of these vehicles were left unlocked.
And according to NHTSA, half of car thefts happen due to driver error and most often during July and August. Since over 40% of stolen vehicles are never recovered, here is what you can do to avoid becoming a victim:
- Don’t leave your car unlocked
- Take your key; do not leave it in the car
- Don’t leave any windows open
- Park in well-lit areas
- Install an anti-theft device (learn more here)
- Don’t leave valuables in the car
- Don’t leave the second set of keys in your car
- Park with the wheels turned towards the curb to make the car harder to tow
- Don’t leave your registration card in the car
- Have your VIN stamped on your windshield
The most popular car with thieves in NJ was the Honda Accord followed by Honda Civic and Dodge Caravan. You can see the full ranking here. Fact sheets on vehicle thefts can be found here.
If your car was stolen call the police and be prepared to give them the following information: a detailed description of your vehicle, the VIN number, license plate number. You can find more info on what to do when your car is stolen here.
We are aware that many of these tips are common sense and yet many people fail to take precautions, but we are sharing these tips in the hope that fewer people have their vehicle stolen due to a lack of awareness.
As always, if you have a story you would like to share, please contact us, our next blog post could be your story.