July is National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. According to NHTSA, there were 748,841 motor vehicles stolen in 2018. A motor vehicle was stolen every 42.2 seconds and 40% of the vehicles are never recovered. The cost of stolen vehicles comes in at nearly $ 6 billion. Summers prove to be the worst season for vehicle theft. So, to help drivers keep their vehicles safe, here are a few tips 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
- 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
If your car was stolen, be prepared to take the following steps:
- Contact police immediately to file a stolen-vehicle report. You will need a copy of the police report and/or a case number to provide to your insurance company. You may also be asked to provide the following information:
- License plate number;
- Make, model, and color of your vehicle; and
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and any identifying characteristics.
- Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of your vehicle being stolen.
- If you find your vehicle before authorities do, contact the police and your insurance company immediately.
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.
Stay safe and remember to lock the car, but don’t lock the kids or pets in the car!