Car Theft - Keys in ignition

Imagine this, you’re on your way home from a busy day at work and realize you’ve forgotten to pick up rigatoni for that amazing pasta dish that you’re family was expecting tonight.  Pulling up to the supermarket, you park, get out of the car and head for the automatic doors.  “This should only take a couple of minutes,” you think to yourself as you search the hanging aisle signs for the words “Pasta”.  Proud of your brevity, you proceed to the checkout counter, and as quickly as you arrived, you’re out the door.

You swiftly scan the parking lot for your car, eyes darting for a mere glimpse of that familiar paint job.  “I know I parked right here…” you say to yourself, standing in an empty parking spot, digging deep in your coat pocket for the keys.  …Nothing. Your stomach suddenly churns, adrenaline peaking as you don’t recall ever taking them out of the ignition… Your car has just been stolen.

While car theft cannot be completely dissolved, there are important steps you can take to help prevent it.

Here are 10 tips to better protect your vehicle from theft:

  1. Never leave your keys in the ignition with the vehicle running
  2. Get an alarm or steering wheel lock
  3. Close all windows and sunroofs
  4. Install a hidden ignition kill switch/fuel cutoff device
  5. Be aware of your surroundings, and park in well lit areas
  6. Avoid leaving the vehicle’s title inside the car
  7. Hide anything valuable, and remember even if it appears to be worth something, a thief may attempt to steal it
  8. Etch the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the windows
  9. Leave the car in gear, or in park to lessen the possibility of having the car towed away
  10. Invest in a vehicle tracking system or (GPS) device

The most recent “Hot Lists” of vehicles by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) lists the following vehicles (all model years) as most frequently stolen.

  1. Honda Accord
  2. Honda Civic
  3. Chevrolet Silverado
  4. Ford F-150
  5. Toyota Camry
  6. Dodge/Ram Pickup
  7. Dodge Caravan
  8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
  9. Toyota Corolla
  10. Nissan Altima