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What Can You Do to Deter Auto Theives

Simple Tips to Prevent Auto Theft

Imagine finishing up a nice dinner at one of your favorite restaurants.  And as you are walking through the parking lot, getting closer to the spot in which you parked your car, you start to get that sick feeling in your stomach when you start realizing that your car is not where you parked it.

Auto Theft is not an uncommon event in the United States.

About every 44 seconds, a vehicle is stolen in the United States.  That means over  750,000 vehicle owners each year find themselves victims of auto theft.  In the event your car is stolen, contact the police with the following information immediately: make, model, year, color, license plate number, VIN, approximate time of theft, location, and witnesses, if any. You should know this information, or have it available at all times. If you have a smart phone, that is a great place to easily store your vehicle and insurance information.

Then, contact your auto insurance company or local insurance agent to report the claim.  Your representative will be able to help you get through this time of crisis. The will explain your car insurance coverage and guide you through the steps needed to handle your claim.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  40% to 50% of all auto thefts are a result of driver errors. Some other interesting statistics are:

  • The top two months for vehicle theft are July and August
  • Only 54% of stolen vehicles are recovered
  • Using the 2010 statistics, the #1 stolen vehicle was the Dodge Charger
  • The annual value of stolen vehicles is in excess of $4.3 BILLION
  • Maryland ranks #9 for the top states where cars are stolen (with California ranking #1)

A few simple preventative measures, however, could prevent this tragedy from ever happening.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Install an anti-theft device.
  • Never leave the keys in the vehicle, or the vehicle running, while unattended.
  • Keep doors locked at all times, and windows up.
  • Never store valuables or packages in plain sight, which will make your vehicle a more attractive target for would a would be auto thief.
  • When parking on the street, turn your wheels, use your emergency brake, and park between other cars (making it harder for a thief to tow).
  • Avoid parking in long-term lots if at all possible.
  • Park in a safe, well-lit, or well-traveled area at night.

 

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