Your car or SUV is the primary way you get around. It gets you to and from work, school, activities, shopping, and more. If you are suddenly without your vehicle, you suffer a great hardship. Unfortunately, vehicle theft is becoming a growing problem across the country. In 2017, more than 770,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States. That equals about one stolen vehicle every 40.9 seconds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is sponsoring its annual Vehicle Theft Prevention Campaign, naming July as National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month.
Vehicle Thefts Across the Country
Vehicle thefts in 2017 cost more than $6 billion dollars. The most common vehicles that are stolen are:
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Chevrolet Silverado
- Toyota Camry
- Ford F150
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Corolla
- Ford F250
- Honda CR-V
If you have one of these vehicles, you need to be extra vigilant. However, vehicle theft is a crime of opportunity. In addition to stealing your ride, thieves may also break into a vehicle to steal the radio and other valuables from inside. There are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of vehicle theft.
Preventing Vehicle Theft
There are some things you can do that will make it more difficult for a thief to steal your car. Always lock your vehicle and never leave the car with the windows down. Do not leave your keys inside your vehicle. Park in well-lit areas and avoid parking in dark or desolate locations. Do not leave anything of value inside, especially in a place where people can view it from the outside. Install an anti-theft system in your vehicle to make it more difficult to enter and steal. Some of these include horn alarms, steering wheel locks, immobilizing devices, and vehicle recovery systems.
GPS systems can be utilized by police to locate your vehicle after it has been stolen.
Never leave your car running while you leave to go into a store. Do not leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Park your vehicle where you can view it from the window. If you see odd behavior, report it to the police. Some vehicle thefts occur through carjacking. Do not drive in isolated places and never exit your vehicle to help someone. Keep your doors locked. If you encounter a carjacker, do not fight back.
What to do if Your Vehicle is Stolen
Call the police to immediately report the crime if your vehicle is stolen. Provide the police with the make, model, color, license plate number, and VIN number of the vehicle, along with any distinguishing features. Never attempt to chase the thieves. The police will investigate the crime and will immediately begin to search for the car. In many cases, the police locate the vehicle quickly after it was stolen. Call your insurance company to report the theft.
If you were hurt in a vehicle accident or a carjacking, call the police and get medical attention. Contact our experienced legal team to assist you with your case. Call Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. for a case consultation.