Police Reporting More Car Thefts

Police Reporting More Car Thefts

Use These Four Tips to Protect Your Vehicle
AAA Staff
Car Theft

Law enforcement agencies around the country are reporting a rise in car thefts, including an 88 percent increase in Washington state and a 31 percent increase in New Jersey. Although nationwide data for 2022 isn't available yet, the increases are consistent with year-over-year trends tracked by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

In 2021, NICB released statistics showing that full-size trucks from Ford and Chevrolet were the most stolen vehicles in 2020, followed by the Honda Accord and Civic. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns motorists that summers prove to be the worst season for vehicle theft. Often, vehicles are left running tempting a thief to take advantage of an easy target.

Using a little common sense and readily available theft prevention devices can minimize auto theft. The more layers of protection, the less likely your car will be stolen. AAA suggests these four keys to car theft prevention:

  1. Awareness

Nearly half of vehicle thefts could have been prevented by the owner according to the NHTSA. Whenever you leave your car, take a moment to check that you have:

  • Parked in a well-lit area
  • Locked the doors and closed the windows
  • Removed spare keys from inside the vehicle
  • Moved valuables and other items out of view

  1. Deterrence

Vehicles that are easy to break into and allow for a quick getaway are attractive to thieves. Visible theft deterrents signal that your car could be difficult to steal. Consider using:

  • Steering wheel locks
  • Brake pedal locks
  • Theft deterrent decals
  • Audible alarm systems

  1. Immobilization

Immobilizing devices prevent a car from being hot-wired. Many late model vehicles come with immobilization devices standard, and some after-market options are available for earlier model cars. These include:

  • Smart keys
  • Fuse cut-offs and kill switches
  • Starter or fuel pump disablers
  • Wireless ignition authentication systems

  1. Tracking

A tracking device emits a signal to the police or a monitoring station when a vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ telematics, which combines GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.

Auto liability insurance is required in all 50 states, but coverage against theft – the comprehensive coverage – is optional.

For more information, call your AAA insurance agent or insurance customer service at 888-671-7044, or visit your local AAA Travel & Insurance Center. Learn more at AAA.com/Insurance.

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Submitted by David A. Virgilio (not verified) on Wed, 09/01/2021 - 08:00


Currently available are RFID pouches that wireless key fobs fit in that are untrackable.

Submitted by Jacks (not verified) on Sun, 06/26/2022 - 20:03


Thieves are looking under chassis for magnetic spare key boxes. So please don’t do it.

Submitted by Cat (not verified) on Mon, 06/27/2022 - 11:55


I bought a Club device when I bought my very first car......in the 80s. Still have and use it. Auto theft is all about speed...even a vehicle that takes an extra minute to get into will make a thief think twice.

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