Summer auto theft protection tips

Did you know? Every 44 seconds a car is stolen somewhere in the U.S.

With summer just around the corner, many citizens will be heading out for vacations and getaway weekends. This also means that car thieves will be actively looking for unattended vehicles to steal. By giving thieves easy access to your car, your vehicle becomes the perfect target.

The HEAT program wants to educate individuals on how to help prevent auto theft during the summer months and all year long. This includes providing relevant tips and facts on how to ensure your car doesn’t become a stolen vehicle.

During the summer, what do car thieves look for when targeting a vehicle?

June through September is the hottest time of year for car thefts. This is mainly due to the fact that many motorists will forget to properly secure their vehicle as they head off to the beach or other location for a relaxing getaway.

Thieves will first look for cars that have the windows rolled down and the doors unlocked. These two key points allow for easy access to your vehicle and thieves do not have to force their way in. As long as the window is down, a thief can easily unlock the door, if it’s not already unlocked, and steal your vehicle from its original location.

Another easy way for a thief to steal your car is if the engine is left running. Many individuals will leave the engine on if they are just running a quick errand at the store, or even going back into their house for something they left behind. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, that is plenty of time for a thief to access your car and remove it from that location.

How can I avoid having my car stolen this summer?

There are simple ways to prevent your vehicle from becoming a target of auto theft. The first is to always park somewhere well lit. By parking in an area with lighting, it will deter thieves from targeting your vehicle as it is in an open, well-lit space and not hidden from view.

Another way to prevent thieves from stealing your vehicle is to make sure the windows are rolled up and all doors are locked before leaving your car unattended. By doing this, thieves will be less likely to scout your vehicle since it would not be easily accessible.

A few other steps you can take to prevent yourself from falling victim to auto theft are hiding any valuables in your car from view and also to invest in anti-theft prevention devices. These two additional measures will discourage thieves from possibly stealing your car.

What to do if your car is stolen?

If you’re returning to your vehicle and are unable to locate it, it is possible that is has been stolen. First, make sure that your vehicle has not been impounded, towed or repossessed for any violations. If you confirm that your vehicle is stolen, call the police immediately to file a police report. Provide them with your relevant vehicle information, including the VIN number, license plates, location and time of disappearance. Next, call your car insurance company and let them know that your car has been stolen and the police are working to locate it. This is an important step because your insurance provider can help protect you in case your car is used to cause harm or damage after theft.

By following these auto theft prevention measures, you’ll deter thieves from targeting your vehicle and can safely enjoy any trip you take this summer.