These days, vehicle thieves are becoming cleverer and more brazen and the number of vehicle thefts and break-ins are increasing. Vehicle thefts in the United States jumped 9% last year from a year earlier to 873,000, the highest number in more than a decade, according to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau. But it’s not only about the thieves as theft prevention measures can be implemented by the vehicle owner in many cases. Since 2013, there has been an 88% increase in thefts due to vehicle owner carelessness. 209 cars are stolen daily when the keys or key fobs were left in the vehicle, or the car was left unlocked with the engine running. The average auto theft takes just five minutes or less, so it’s important that you pay attention to what you’re doing every minute and take steps to keep your vehicle safe.
Recent trends show that both high-performance vehicles and more common models are becoming equal targets. The most-prized vehicles are SUVs, pickups, hybrids, and any vehicle with a key fob. Many of these stolen vehicles are resold, used for parts, or are sent on shipping containers overseas as part of “steal-to-order” schemes and cannot be recovered. Additionally, catalytic converters are becoming a prized target. These auto parts cost $3,000 or more to replace and can be stolen from the undercarriage of a vehicle in under 60 seconds.
So, what can you do to protect your vehicle and prevent theft? Here are a few tips:
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