July 21, 2022
Preparing for taking trips this summer? Make sure your car is secure at all times. The average number of auto thefts a day was 2,207 during the summer of 2019 (NICB). After years of decline, auto thefts appear to be surging in metropolitan areas all over the country.
In fact, summer-time is the peak of vehicle theft in any given year. While the reason behind this is unclear, it might be due to the greater number of vacations and road trips being taken place mostly in the summer.
Auto Theft Fueled by the Pandemic
An unfortunate byproduct of Covid-19 was a surge in vehicle thefts since many vehicles were left parked as a result of shutdowns to help curtail the spread of the virus. During that time, people were forced to leave their vehicles unattended for longer than usual, enabling burglars to pick their targets easily. With 29,162 thefts reported in 2020 alone in Colorado, vehicle thefts rose to its peak due to the pandemic.
What About the Most Frequently Stolen Vehicles?
The make and models of vehicles frequently stolen by thieves vary by a plethora of factors including ease of theft, region, the presence of security systems, scrap metal & spare parts prices, among other. As key-less entry technology has taken its roots across the globe, criminals have been indulging in purchasing equipment online that can reprogram keys without a hassle. They are increasingly taking advantage of car owners that leave key fobs in their cars.
Statistics show that such thefts (also known as freebie thefts) occur every six and a half minutes in the US. The number has grown by 22% since 2014 (National Insurance Crime Bureau). According to NICB, the following vehicles are the most frequently stolen vehicles in the USA:
- Chevy Impala was the most stolen vehicle in Michigan
- Trucks were the biggest targets for thieves in nearly 30 states
- Honda was the most stolen brand, with the Accord and Civic being the most stolen vehicles in 9 states each
The Introduction of Key-Less Start Technology
Vehicle theft has spiked with the increased adoption of key-less start technology. This made it easier for thieves to steal vehicles when people leave their key fobs inside, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The NICB notes that more and more people are leaving key fobs in their vehicles, allowing thieves to easily enter the vehicle and drive it off.
Joblessness Elevated the Pain
The pandemic resulted in an increase in unemployment, leaving many Americans with more time to sit idle. It has been estimated that jobless young people are more prone to committing this multi-billion-dollar crime. The pandemic also led thieves to steal catalytic converters at an alarming rate due to a surge in the price of rare metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. In 2018, 108 average monthly catalytic converter thefts, and 1,203 average monthly thefts were reported in 2020 (NICB).
Measures To Help Prevent Auto Theft
Auto theft is on the rise in the USA. Having said that preventing your car from getting stolen is a must. Experts at the National Insurance Crime Bureau believe that the following precautionary measures will help people protect their vehicles.
Warning Devices Are Lifesavers
Warning devices are deterrents to thieves, discouraging them to steal vehicles in the first place. Audible car alarms, flashing lights, and theft-deterrent decals are designed to provide you with added protection against getting your vehicle stolen.
Make Use of Real-Time GPS Technology
This era that we live in is marked by the use of technology in every facet of our lives. Real-time GPS tracking technology is one such innovation that you can leverage when it comes to protecting your vehicles from theft.
Imagine your car being stolen and you getting it back by monitoring its real-time location through an OBD tracker like Vyncs. What is interesting about using Vyncs as your vehicle theft prevention system?
You get to hide your GPS tracker using an OBD-II Y cable (splitter cable). All you need to do is to connect the Y cable’s open OBD-II port end to the OBD-II port of your vehicle and connect the tracker to the female end of the Y cable. Once you are done, conceal it behind the dash.
The best part of using the OBD-II Y cable (instead of a regular extension cable), you can make it look like there is no device whatsoever. This is a smart way to trick thieves into believing that the port is empty and there is no GPS tracker.
Let a Steering Wheel Lock Do the Job
The use of steering wheel locks used to be prevalent in the 80s. However, today, more and more people are using them as they work just as great as they used to. Upon installation, it is impossible to turn the steering wheel, making the vehicle un-drivable.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Etching
Etching your Vehicle Identification Number into the windows or other vehicle parts reduces the resale value of parts. Also, having a visible VIN can make your vehicle less appealing to criminals as they will need to take extra steps to get the car ready for resale.
Worried About Where’s Your Vehicle?
With an increasing number of motor vehicle theft incidents being reported, anyone could fall prey to it. If you are a victim of it, do not hesitate to:
- Contact the police immediately to file a stolen vehicle report
- Make sure you contact your insurance company within 24 hours of your vehicle being stolen
Prevent Vehicle Theft: Have the Vyncs Bumper Sticker on Your Vehicle
Your vehicle is perhaps the most valuable asset of your life. Therefore, it makes sense that you do everything to help protect it. So, it makes sense that you use the Vyncs bumper sticker on your vehicle advertising the tracking device. This acts as an obstacle in their way as they barely want to deal with the risk of stealing a car that the police can easily track.
Apart from taking the above-mentioned measures to prevent auto theft, make sure you check with your insurance agent to determine whether your policy covers stolen vehicles.