Thieves get busy during the summer months, especially July and August, which are the two hottest months for auto theft. As a matter of prevention, LoJack Corporation, which makes aftermarket security systems and vehicle tracking devices, and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators have launched a campaign aimed at educating car owners of the constant danger of car theft, calling it National Vehicle Theft Protection Month.
As a part of the initiative, LoJack published an infographic, which highlights some sobering facts about car theft. Among the plethora of stats included in the infographic are the following tidbits:
- In 2010, a car was stolen every 42.8 seconds. There were a total of 737,000 car thefts and only a 56.1% recovery rate, resulting in $4.5 billion in losses for American car owners.
- The most frequently stolen vehicles are very common/plain ones. Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Silverado and Ford F-150 are the top five.
- The Cadillac Escalade is more than six times as likely than other vehicles to be targeted by thieves.
- 79% of people think about car theft frequently, but 36% of people don't take any action to prevent it. Remarkably, 68% of people admit to leaving their car running while they aren't in it or parking it and leaving it unlocked.
- 64% of people have their actual home address programmed into their car's GPS and 32% of people have left an electronic device or documents with their personal information visible in their car.
Preventing car theft can be as simple as following a few tips. Here is some advice from Inilex, a company that makes theft recovery devices for vehicles, about how to cut down your chances of being without a car by day-end.
1. Especially true if you're planning on partying this holiday, if you think you might have some drinks, and the party is in an unfamiliar neighborhood, take a cab both to and from your holiday party, rather than leaving your car at your destination and cabbing it home.
2. Always park in a well-lit, populated area, such as a busy parking lot or secure garage. Not only is this safer for your car, but it is also safer for you walking to and from it. Don't assume the leafy suburban street is a safe spot. That's a favorite spot for car thieves.
3. Double check that your doors are locked, windows are rolled up and never leave an extra key in or around your car. If you plan to leave your car all day, consider unhooking the car's battery cables.
4. Do not store anything of value in your car. Not only is it an open invitation for crooks, but car insurance won't cover these items if they're stolen.
5. Think about installing a GPS-enabled device that can instantly track your car, if you're one of the unlucky ones and your car is stolen. Not only can this reduce your insurance premium, but modern devices allow you to find your car in the process of being stolen, rather than after it's been stripped for parts.