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Auto Theft Prevention

Stop Auto Theft -- Don't Tempt a Thief

FACT:  A car is stolen approximately every 25 seconds somewhere in the U.S.

FACT:  Most of those crimes are preventable!

Time is the car thief's enemy.  The longer it takes to steal a car the more likely they will be noticed and caught.  Some criminals can take your car in less than 2 minutes.  You can use an anti-theft device to make your car less appealing to a thief.  Most of those devices cost less than the insurance deductible paid out if their car is stolen and there are discounts offered for using them.

More Information about Automotive Anti-Theft Devices.

Vehicle Theft Prevention Tips

  • Well Lit Parking LotPark in well-lighted areas.
  • Close all windows, lock all doors, and take the vehicle keys with you.  25% of stolen vehicles had the keys in the most.  Most with the engine running (just for a minute)!

  • Don't leave your original registration or title in your car.

  • Activate any anti-theft devices.
  • Permanently mark your vehicle windows with your vehicle identification number (VIN) by VIN etching.

  • Never hide a second set of keys anywhere on or near your car.
  • Never leave your car's engine running, even if you'll only be gone a minute at places such as daycare centers, convenience stores, gas stations, ATM's, etc.

  • Park in attended lots.

  • Wheels Turned Toward The CurbPark your vehicle with the wheels turned toward the curb.  This makes your vehicle difficult to tow.
  • Don't become complacent because you drive an older model car.  Older cars are often stripped for parts that are sold for two or three times the value of the vehicle.  

  • Remove any valet key from the vehicle (they are usually included in the owner's manual).

Make sure the used vehicle you buy is not stolen!

  • If a deal seems to be "too good to be true," it probably is.
  • Deal only with a reputable, established licensed used car dealer.
  • If you buy a vehicle from an individual, make sure the name on the title and registration match the name and address of the person selling the vehicle.

  • Check out the name, address and place of employment of the seller.  Be aware of someone selling a vehicle who is not willing to give you this information. Make Sure The VIN Matches On The Vehicle And Title

    Check the vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if it has been tampered with.  This number is located on a plate attached to the dash near the left side of the front windshield.

  • Make sure the VIN matches the number on the seller's title.

  • Ask the seller for references about past financing and insurance on the vehicle.  Verify the information.

  • Ask for the manufacturer's keys, do not accept a replacement set.
  • Beware of new paint on a late model vehicle.
  • Complete all paperwork at the time of the sale.
  • Do not buy a used vehicle without being present when the title is notarized.

Statistical Sources - FBI

Just the Facts

  • Steering Wheel LocksCars with a steering wheel lock device in use are four times less likely to be stolen.
  • According to the NICB, one automobile manufacturer found its anti-theft system reduced theft by 80%.

  • In 2006 a car was stolen about every 26.4 seconds.

  • Over 21% of all car owners don't lock their doors!

  • About 25% of the cars stolen in Florida had keys left in the ignition.