Once, a 43.8 second vehicle was stolen in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Thefts like these cost millions of dollars to owners and insurance companies and cause insurance premiums to skyrocket – making everyone a victim.
Every July, NHTSA hosts National Vehicle Theft Prevention Month. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is urging consumers to help put the brakes on auto theft.
For over 100 years, the NICB has fought to protect the public from car theft. But as the NICB developed its anti-fraud techniques, criminals developed their skills. Data from 2020 show a dramatic increase in car theft. In fact, there were over 873,000 thefts, the majority of which occurred after May 2020. Although the increase in thefts can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, auto theft can occur at any time.
To prevent yourself from becoming the next victim, the NICB recommends that you follow these four layers of protection:
- Vehicle owners should always remove ignition keys or fobs from the vehicle, lock doors and windows, and park in well-lit areas.
- Take advantage of the vehicle's anti – theft protection. Whether it is factory installed or aftermarket, there are a number of devices that are designed to reduce the risk of your vehicle being stolen. The immobilizer is designed to detect that a correct key is being used to start your vehicle. If the system does not detect the correctly encrypted key, it will prevent the vehicle from starting.
- Tracking devices are very effective in assisting the authorities in recovering stolen vehicles. Some systems combine GPS and wireless technology to enable remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system warns the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via a computer or mobile phone.
The more layers of protection on your vehicle, the harder it will be to steal.
Anyone with information about insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) free of charge or sending a form on the NICB's website.
Content with permission from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
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