How to Prevent Car Theft
By: Good2GoPublished: May 16, 2013
Grand theft auto is more than just a video game. It’s a reality. Being a victim of car theft or having items stolen from your vehicle is serious business – not to mention a serious crime. In 2011, there were an estimated 715,373 motor vehicle thefts nationwide, according to the FBI. Could your vehicle be next? We here at Good2Go Auto care about your car, which is why we are offering you some tips and tricks to prevent car theft.
How Cars are Stolen
Grand theft auto is a crime of opportunity, meaning the criminal will seek out any available chance to make his/her move to drive off with your vehicle – no matter the make, model or year. While grand theft auto is usually committed by breaking into a vehicle and hotwiring the engine, here are three other ways someone can steal your car:
- Taken without Owner’s Consent: where the vehicle is in unauthorized use. This usually happens between family members and close friends who have access to another’s car keys.
- Idling: where the operator leaves an unattended vehicle running. The keys are usually visible, making it easier for the criminal to drive off with the car.
- Carjacking: where the vehicle is taken by force with the operator present, usually by assault. This incident can escalate to a hostage situation.
Most Stolen Vehicles1
Now, some car models are stolen more often than others. Sometimes it’s because there is more of a certain model that’s on the road, some cars are easier to break into or some car parts have a higher street value. In an annual report by LoJack on vehicle theft and recovery, law enforcement officials recovered nearly $125 million in stolen vehicles equipped with LoJack in 2012. Here are the most stolen and recovered cars by make and model based on the report:
- Honda Accord
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Camry
- Acura Integra
- Toyota Corolla
If you drive one of these vehicles, that doesn’t mean it will automatically be stolen, but the next time you park your car, think to yourself “is my car an attractive target for theft” and “how easy is it for someone to break into my car?” Keep in mind that newer makes and models may have sophisticated security systems that older cars won’t have.
States with Highest Auto Theft Rates2
Sometimes, it doesn’t even matter what kind of car you drive for it to be swiped. Some areas are more prone to auto theft than others. In fact, a car is stolen every forty-four seconds in the U.S. and if you’re wondering where your vehicle is least safe, below is a list of states with the highest auto theft rates per capita for 2011 based off of FBI data:
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
How to Prevent Auto Theft
Don’t let this list deter from visiting these states, though, because here’s how you can keep your car from being stolen no matter where you park:
- Whether you’re in drive or parked, always lock your doors.
- If you have a garage, park your car inside of it and always lock the garage door.
- Remove valuable items out of sight by taking them with you or by using your trunk or glove box.
- Park your car in an area that is well-traveled and well-lit after dark or in high crime rate areas.
- If you’re out on the town, or in for the night, park between two other cars. This will make theft and towing more difficult.
- Don’t leave spare keys in your car. They will be found and will be used.
- Install an anti-theft device such as:
- Steering wheel lock
- Car alarms (have your alarm sticker visible to show you mean business)
- Kill switches
- Take the steering wheel with you (unorthodox, but effective)
Make sure your anti-theft devices are installed properly to reduce the risk of damaging your car’s electrical system as well as the device itself.
If you want to protect your vehicle against auto theft, then Good2Go has you covered. Good2Go Auto Insurance specializes in minimum coverage car insurance, but we also provide comprehensive coverage to protect you in the event of theft. It also protects your vehicle in the event of a fire, inclement weather, and vandalism. Get a cheap car insurance quote in minutes and protect yourself from auto theft today.
- The 2012 LoJack Vehicle Theft Recovery Report is gathered from data provided by 27 states via Nlets as well as California law enforcement, and is specific to stolen cars, trucks and SUVs that were recovered between January to December 2012 as a result of the LoJack® Stolen Vehicle Recovery System.
- Data is from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports Program for auto theft. Rates represent per 100,000 inhabitants.
- The District of Columbia actually had the highest rate of car theft, but since the focus of this list is states and not U.S. districts or territories, Washington, D.C. was not included.