How common are car thefts? According to National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates, there were more than 745,000 motor vehicle thefts in the first nine months of 2022 in the United States  And when citizens are subjected to the most potentially dangerous of these crimes ̵2; carjacking — the attacker succeeds in about half of all attempts, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
To find out how to prevent car hijacking and car theft, read on.
1. Do not leave valuables in your car
You don’t display your cash, accounts and jewelry in the window of your home, do you? So why would you do the same in your car? Instead, hide all valuables, including bags, computer cases and the ignition key. You’d be surprised how often people don’t.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, between 2019 and 2022, more than 100,000 reported vehicle thefts were facilitated by keys, including situations where keys were left inside the vehicle.  A quarter left a purse or wallet inside and a third left bank statements. Additionally, a third say they have kept their vehicle running while unmanned.
2. Park in a well-lit area
Not everyone has a garage. But many have the option of parking on a well-lit street – another deterrent to crooks. Also, etch the vehicle identification number on the windows to deter thieves from stealing the vehicle and selling it to a hacker.
3. Lock your vehicle doors
As soon as you step into a car, you are vulnerable. So unlock right away, before turning on the ignition or setting up your music, GPS, etc. (Voltage is the other “to do.”)
4. Don’t leave your keys in the car
“It’ll only take a second, I’m just running into the store for a few things.”
Unfortunately, “one second” is all a thief needs if you leave the keys in the car for them. So always take the keys with you no matter where or how short you are out of the vehicle. It sounds obvious, but this is one of the most important ways to prevent car theft.
5. Pay attention
Staying alert is the best example of how to prevent carjacking. When you stop or slow down, you increase the opportunity for a carjacker. So be careful at traffic lights. “When you stop in traffic, leave enough room to move forward,” says Brent O’Bryan, vice president of learning and development for AlliedBarton Security Services, a physical security company. 
6. Know where you are going
Just as you want to stay in well-lit areas while parking, you don’t want to “hide” in the dark while driving. “Don’t go to remote or unfamiliar areas,” says O’Bryan. “If you feel you are being followed, don’t drive home. Do not park next to a vehicle such as a van that may be hiding a suspect.” 
7. Install an anti-theft system
If someone tries to break into your car, you want to make it obvious to anyone within earshot that this has occurred. Anti-theft systems sound loud alarms when they detect forced entry into your vehicle, alerting everyone nearby and potentially scaring the would-be thief from staying put. You can also install a GPS tracking system that will show the location of your vehicle if the thief manages to get away with it.
If you have an anti-theft device in your vehicle, you can get a discount on your car insurance.
8. Keep your cool during a crisis
Even if you take all precautions, you can still be involved in a carjacking. If so, the safety of you and your passengers remains the top priority. Stay calm – if you panic, a criminal is more likely to panic too. “Never argue; give up your car,” says O’Bryan. “Get out of the area as quickly as possible. Note the suspect’s appearance and report it to the police immediately.” 
Most commonly stolen cars
You might expect thieves to pick the flashiest, most expensive cars they can find, but the problem with these vehicles is that they stand out in a crowd. No car thief wants to be seen after they make off, so the most commonly stolen cars are some of the most owned models. Ford F-series pickup trucks and Honda Civics have often been targeted in the US for this very reason. In 2021, cars like Civics were also popular because they share parts with other Hondas, making them valuable for stripping and selling. 
More recently, in a 2022 HLDI study, 2019-2021 models of Dodge Chargers topped the charts for most stolen vehicles. 
Which cars are subject to catalytic converter theft?
Some vehicles are also singled out for stealing their catalytic converters. Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius use expensive metals to construct their catalytic converters, making them prime targets.  Thieves will steal the catalytic converter and sell it for the value of its metal.
Does the insurance cover car theft?
So you took every precaution, but someone still managed to make off with your car. Are you covered? It depends on your policy. Comprehensive policies usually cover theft. However, policies such as liability insurance do not.
Read more about what your car insurance covers in case of car theft.
 https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/over-745000-stolen-vehicles-reported-so-far-2022, accessed April 2023.
 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/auto-thefts-carjackings-major-us-cities-spike-new-report/, Accessed April 2023.
 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vehicles-stolen-with-keys-left-inside-on-the-rise-301731304.html, accessed April 2023.
 National Interview with Brent O’Bryan, 2016.
 https://www.cars.com/articles/these-vehicles-are-most-vulnerable-to-theft-says-iihs-457296/, Accessed April 2023..
 https://www.moneygeek.com/insurance/auto/most-stolen-cars-in-america/, accessed April 2023.
 khou.com/article/news/how-to-prevent-yourself-from-becoming-the-coming-the-coming-the-coming-the-coming-the-the-coming-the-the-latest-victim- of-catalytic-converter-thefts/285-d978572e-c12a-4142-b331-c782201b082b, Accessed August 2021.
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